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Macro aims to test 10,000 youths

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Malawi Aids Counselling and Resource Organisation (Macro), which continues to provide HIV and Aids diagnostic and counselling services, intends to test 10,000 youths by August 2017.

Macro held an open day event at Natural Resources College (NRC) on Saturday to encourage more youths to take part in the initiative.

NRC Students Union president Rafik Shuga said more students are looking forward to benefit from the partnership.

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“We have created this partnership and we are going to strengthen it. We are convinced that Macro has the future of the youth in mind, it cares about our future and who we are today,” Shuga said.

During the event on Saturday, Macro provided mobile HIV testing services which were spiced up with performances.

Macro Communications and Advocacy Officer, Mirriam Ntambo, said the students were enthusiastic about the initiative.

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“As the students watched the performances that were HIV and Aids-themed, some of the students were getting tested. We will engage the youth more so that we can achieve our target,” she said.

Macro has partnered My Tsogolo, a project that aims at promoting a reading and writing culture, to reach out to more youths.

“We are calling on the youth to take part in this initiative. This project is ongoing and we are happy with the response from the youth and impressed with a number of organisations interested to work with us,” Ntambo said.

The initiative, funded by US Embassy in Malawi, has been running since 2016 and it is targeting the first 90 of the 90:90:90 UNAids goal.

UNAids set the 90:90:90 target to improve both diagnosis of HIV and treatment of Aids by 2020. By 2020, 90 percent of all people living with HIV should know their HIV status; 90 percent of all people diagnosed HIV infection should receive sustained antiretroviral therapy and 90 percent of all people receiving antiretroviral therapy should have viral suppression.

Apart from the HIV testing and counselling, the Macro initiative is also imparting knowledge to the youth on sexual reproductive health.

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