Malawi news reports on importance of HIV testing among men
In August, Malawi’s premier daily newspaper, The Nation, published a two day profile on GAIA’s door-to-door HIV testing campaign and special initiatives to test high risk rural adult men and youth in Mulanje District. The articles note the importance of GAIA’s work in response to the fact that rates of HIV testing among men lag behind those of women by about 18%, placing them at higher risk of remaining undiagnosed, unwittingly transmitting the infection and suffering a disproportionate share of AIDS-related deaths. GAIA’s youth services are critical because the data suggests that new HIV infections are occurring disproportionately among youth, especially girls and young women ages 15-24.
The home-based testing campaign is providing the proximity and privacy that was lacking in other clinic-based efforts, as explained by Mustafa Layelo, 40, living with HIV: “Previously, some of us had to walk over 30km to know our status. We were sickly, but still had to endure long walks, queues and prowling eyes.” GAIA is bringing HIV services to individuals like Mustafa where they are, breaking down barriers to testing and, ultimately, treatment. In coordination with the Ministry of Health and local partners, we are on a path to reach everyone living with HIV in the district to achieve the UNAIDS 90-90-90 treatment targets and break the epidemic in this high prevalence district for good.
You can read the full articles linked below (and click here to see this year’s news coverage of GAIA programs, including seven articles/broadcasts in Malawian media).