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November 30, 2023

U.S. JOINS WORLD AIDS DAY COMMEMORATION WITH 20 YEARS OF IMPACT IN THE FIGHT AGAINST HIV/AIDS IN MALAWI

Lilongwe – Today we join the World AIDS Day 2023 commemoration in Malawi with solemn remembrance of those who have been lost to AIDS, solidarity with those living with HIV/AIDS, and a steadfast commitment to the work that still lies ahead.  We are proud to work through the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) alongside the Government of Malawi, UNAIDS, Global Fund, and other key partners to continue the fight against HIV/AIDS.

PEPFAR was launched in 2003 to combat global AIDS, and came to Malawi in 2006, immediately beginning work to advance treatment options in Malawi as well as to raise awareness, increase prevention efforts, and strengthen health systems nation-wide.  Today, Malawi is on the cusp of achieving the UNAIDS 95-95-95 Targets, in which 95% of all people living with HIV know their status; 95% of these people are on treatment; and 95% of those on treatment are virally suppressed.  Malawi has also reduced its HIV prevalence by half, to less than 8%, and is now seeing nearly a third of the number of new infections and half the number of deaths it saw ten years ago.

PEPFAR contributes to Malawi’s national HIV response with lifesaving services with 20 years of impact.  Key achievements to end HIV/AIDS by 2030 and build more resilient local systems to help prevent and treat new infections include:

Prevention

  • More than 3 million self-test kits distributed.
  • Approximately 570,000 HIV-exposed children are HIV-free due to programming to prevent mother to child transmission.
  • Over 1 million boys and men were voluntarily circumcised to reduce HIV transmission.
  • More than 350,000 adolescent girls and young women have been reached through the DREAMS Program and equipped with both information and interventions that provide health care, psychosocial support, and other essential services.
  • Over 23,000 adolescents aged 10 to 19 have been equipped with knowledge and skills to reduce their risk of contracting and transmitting HIV.

Treatment

  • Estimates show that 88% of all people living with HIV (PLHIV) knew their HIV status, 98% of PLHIV with known status were on antiretroviral therapy (ART), and 97% of PLHIV on ART were virally suppressed (Source: MPHIA, 2020-2021).
  • Over 900,000 people living with HIV are currently on antiretroviral therapy, with PEPFAR supporting 98% of them.

System Strengthening

  • Malawi is a leader in the region with one of the most advanced electronic medical records systems (EMR) making it a model heavily visited by neighboring countries to learn about the health information systems and investments to integrate the HIV platform of the EMR across other diseases.
  • Over 750 sites providing antiretroviral treatment have some form of electronic medical record system.
  • Over 2,000 frontline health workers have graduated from different training institutions to improve service delivery at facility level through PEPFAR support.
  • PEPFAR is currently supporting more than 13,000 healthcare workers in different cadres to provide quality HIV services.

Malawi’s progress is a result of partnerships working to close health equity gaps among children, adolescent girls and young women, and key populations.

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