Malawi's leaders accelerate AIDS response

Approximately 1.1 million people in Malawi had HIV infections in 2014. | File photo

The president and first lady of Malawi recently committed to accelerating the nation’s AIDS response in their efforts to eliminate the disease by 2030.

Malawi was recently chosen as a member of the UNAIDS Programme Coordinating Board (PCB). The president and first lady also committed to the PCB membership, voicing their plans to collaborate for a positive Political Declaration at the United Nations High-Level Meeting on HIV/AIDS. This meeting is scheduled for June 2016.

“I have no doubt in my mind that together we can leave a legacy for a future where AIDS is no longer a public health threat — we look to the future with hope,” Gertrude Mutharika, Malawi's first lady, said.

Approximately 1.1 million people in Malawi had HIV infections in 2014. The prevalence rate for Malawi amounted to 10 percent, which is one of the highest rates in southern and eastern Africa.

“Malawi’s political leadership has demonstrated how ambitious targets and commitment can deliver results through broad partnerships with civil society and international partners,” Jan Beagle, UNAIDS deputy executive director, said. “This kind of leadership will be critical to ensuring that the High-Level Meeting on HIV/AIDS in June adopts a bold Political Declaration to Fast-Track the AIDS response.”

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