By Judith Kayange – Mana
M’mbelwa District Aids coordinator, Alick Mhango has urged council employees to undergo HIV and Aids voluntary counselling and testing for them to know their cero status.
He made the call Monday during the employees’ sensitization meeting, on HIV and Aids self-testing government introduced last year.
Mhango said if people go for HIV and Aids testing and know their cero status it helps them plan for a better life.
He said those who test HIV positive have a chance to start taking ARVs for them to prolong life and effectively manage their families.
The Coordinator expressed concern that HIV prevalence rate is still on the higher side with 60 percent of patients in medical ward suffering from HIV related illnesses.
Said Mhango: “M’mbelwa district council is concerned with increased number of people who continue to contract the virus which threatens social economic development of the district,” he said.
He expressed hope that the introduction of the HIV self-testing service will motivate more people to know their cero status, saying many were reluctant to be tested by another person in fear of compromising their privacy.
“HIV self-testing is private, many people now will test their blood privately and in the comfort of their homes,” Mhango said.
M’mbelwa District Council principle aids officer, Frank Mfune, advised employees who tested HIV positive to take well balanced diet which comprises six food groups for them to remain healthy.
“If one has tested HIV positive it is important for them to take nutritious food stuffs that can continue build and fight disease infections,” he said.
He said most people who test positive continue to lose weight and get vulnerable to frequent illnesses due to poor nutrition.