A senior government official in Chadiza district has expressed concern at the increase in number of married people contracting HIV.
Acting Chadiza District Commissioner Kabange Masenga said 60 percent of HIV transmission happens within marriages.
Mr. Masenga said every person regardless of their marital status should get tested because HIV was no longer an epidemic among the high risk groups only but that it was a generalized epidemic which is also contracted by those in marriages.
The District Commissioner was speaking yesterday at Ambidzi Primary School during the commemoration for the National Voluntary Counselling and Testing (VCT) Day.
This year’s commemorations were held under the theme “Universal access to annual HIV counselling and testing services”.
Mr. Masenga said that couples counselling and testing for HIV should be encouraged in all settings so that they are equipped with knowledge to either protect them from infection or to live positively with HIV/AIDS and access treatment when they need it.
He said it is with this background that government in 2006 introduced the policy of free antiretroviral treatment so that every person infected with HIV and in need of treatment can have access to treatment.
And speaking earlier, Chief Mwangala of the Chewa speaking people of Chadiza also advised his subjects to go for V.CT.
Chief Mwangala said the goal of counselling and testing was to facilitate behaviour change and prevent transmission of HIV and also to serve as an entry point to HIV and AIDS care, treatment and support services.