Lesotho and Namibia were announced recently as two of six African countries that have achieved HIV epidemic control. According to the findings, these two countries had high levels of viral suppression and retention in care, indicating effective treatment programmes that reduce infection rates and save lives.

Data from the population-based HIV Impact Assessment surveys shows that Lesotho and Namibia have made remarkable progress towards HIV epidemic control. Some investments that are made through PEPFAR to combat HIV include strengthening laboratories and the supply chain, ensuring that the right equipment is at the right place, and training personnel to be able to adapt to the changes and have the ability to monitor outbreaks.

The President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief Coordinator, Cheryl Amoroso, says that Namibia has carried out strategies and initiatives that have contributed to achieving HIV epidemic control in the country.She says for the last 18 years, the PEPFAR programme has been supporting the national HIV response in Namibia in achieving an HIV/AIDS response.

"The epidemic control and achievements made in Namibia focus mostly on the availability of HIV prevention services to people so that new infections can be reduced and ensuring that people that have HIV have access to testing so that they know their status, and when they know their status, they are able to be on the anti-viral medication and suppress the HIV. So bringing down overall infections and ensuring that people living with HIV are on treatment and can lead a healthy life."

Amoroso says there are still some gaps and a population at high risk of HIV in Namibia.
However, she says that Namibia is looking at epidemic control and long-term sustainability, and the government is busy with a road map for sustainability for HIV and malaria, among others, to control HIV/AIDS.

She says that the focus is not only to ensure that HIV and TB are addressed but also to ensure that the health system is strengthened to be prepared for health threats.



Lucia Nghifindaka