According to the World Health Organisation
- 36.9 million living with HIV in 2014
- 1.5 million died of AIDS-related illnesses in 2013
- 2.1 million adolescents were living with HIV in 2012
- 9.7 million in low – and middle – income countries were receiving antiretroviral therapy at the end of 2012
- 2.3 million new HIV infections were registered in 2013
- 6.6 million peoplecurrently receiving ARV therapy
- 78 million people have been infected with the HIV virus
- 39 million have died people have died from HIV and AIDS related issues since the beginning of the epidemic
- Sub-Saharan Africa is the most affected region, with 25.8 million people living with HIV in 2014.
- Sub-Saharan Africa accounts for almost 70% of the global total of new HIV infections.
Every family is infected or affected. In the Livingstone and Mukuni area the statistics are the fourth highest in the nation, with 27% of the population infect with HIV. It is imperative that people have access to education, come forward to be tested, know their status and to take the antiretroviral drugs if they are tested positive. Our aim is to assist the rural clinics with their HIV and AIDS prevention methods and to target school pupils through a peer education programme, in order for them to be the ones that make the change.
The only way to reduce the HIV/AIDS statistics is through education – one in six adults in Zambia are infected with the HIV virus.
We are providing an orphan sponsorship program for some 500 children besides assisting thousands more with improved health and education facilities. The statistics in Livingstone and Mukuni Village are some of the highest in the nation due it being a tourist and border area. School pupils are encouraged to be tested for HIV, to remove the stigma and support peers who are HIV positive. Antiretroviral drugs are free of charge and readily available at the rural clinics as are contraceptives to prevent having unprotected sex.
Women who are pregnant and wish to give birth at a clinic are automatically tested for HIV. If the mother is HIV positive the government’s directive is to breastfeed for two years. The infant will also be put on drugs and are tested regularly. Mukuni Health Centre has made good progress in this area and we hope that the new clinic we have constructed at Mahalulu will help to reduce the numbers of people contracting HIV.