The City of Francistown Mayor, Sylvia Muzila has hailed the 90-90-90 programme she launched in the city in 2017.
In 2014, the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) and partners launched the 90–90–90 targets whose the aim was to diagnose 90% of all HIV-positive persons, provide antiretroviral therapy (ART) for 90% of those diagnosed, and achieve viral suppression for 90% of those treated by 2020.
This was estimated to result in 73% of people with HIV achieving viral suppression, a crucial step in ending the AIDS epidemic by 2030.
Speaking at a press conference in Francistown on Tuesday morning Muzila said since the 2017 launch, 39 412 people have tested for HIV.
According to the Mayor, of the age range from 20-29 years who are more sexually active, 16 363 have tested.
In the age category 30-39 years, 10 400 have tested. “The older generation is not forthcoming and I understand some say they are no longer sexually active and don’t see the need to test,” she said.
The mayor further said of all the people who tested, women are more forthcoming as shown by their impressive numbers. “22 548 women have tested since 2017 compared to just 15 249 men,” she said.
She said according to the feedback they’ve received, men don’t test as they prefer to assume their partners’ HIV statuses.
“Statistics show that HIV prevalence is high on women than men, but this can’t be conclusive as we don’t have enough numbers of men who test to have a more accurate statistics,” she said.
The Mayor said with a population of a little over 100 000, 22% of Francistowners are HIV+. “At the moment 22 936 people are on treatment,” she said.