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Men shun HIV test—Manet+

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By Imam Wali, Contributor:

Malawi Network of People Living with HIV and Aids (Manet+) has said men continue to shun HIV testing, frustrating efforts to stem cases of infection in the country.

Manet+ Programmes Officer, Faness Moyo, said this during a district consultative meeting with stakeholders in Dedza District on Thursday as part of the three-year Resilient and Sustainable Systems for Health Module Project with financial support from Action Aid/Global Fund.

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“Men who shun HIV test are the ones contributing to the further spread of HIV in the country. In many cases, women are the ones who go for HIV testing but the story is different for men because, normally, they shun HIV testing. This makes it difficult for women to tell their husbands about their sero-status. Some even fail to take medication properly,” Moyo said.

She urged people to seek HIV testing services as partners. Dedza District Hospital Anti-retroviral Therapy Coordinator, Andrew Chikwakwa, echoed Moyo’s sentiments, saying all people have a responsibility to prevent transmission of the virus.

“That is an issue of concern to us as well. We believe that if men were fully involved in HIV prevention efforts, the number of new infections would be lower than is the case. There is need to change our way of thinking,” Chikwakwa said.

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He, however, said the situation was improving in Dedza, citing the introduction of a male-friendly clinic as one of the factors that have contributed to the turnaround.

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