Malawi is one of the countries with the highest HIV rates in the world. According to the Malawi Population HIV Impact Assessment 2020-2021 (MPHIA) report, HIV prevalence amongst adults aged between 15 years and older stands at 8.9% and this responds to approximately 946,000 adults living with HIV in Malawi. The epidemic largely affects women; whose HIV prevalence is 10.5% as compared to men with an HIV prevalence of 7.1%. HIV prevalence is twice as high among women than men in each 5 years age group between ages 20 and 39 years. Annual HIV incidence among adults aged 15 years and older is 0.21%, an equivalent of 20,000 new cases of HIV per year.
The Malawi National HIV and AIDS Strategic Plan 2015-2020 adopts the Joint United Nations Program on HIV/AIDS Treatment Targets. Thus, Malawi intends to diagnose 95% of all people living with HIV, start and retain 95% of those diagnosed with HIV on ART, and achieve a viral load suppression for 95% of all clients on ART. The country has made some strides and the goal of ending the AIDS epidemic by 2030 is possible. About 88% of adults aged 15 years and older are aware of their HIV status in Malawi; while 97.9% of adult living with HIV who are aware of their status are on ART, and 96.9% of adults on treatment are virally suppressed. More women than men are aware of their HIV status, but there is no marked difference in terms of viral load suppression and being on treatment between men and women. The Malawi HIV Program however experiences some critical challenges that require immediate attention to sustain the progress being made.
AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF) is supporting the Malawi government in operationalizing its strategic plan. The organization signed a memorandum of understanding with the Malawi Ministry of Health in 2016, and was officially launched by the Minister of Health in September, 2019. AHF supports a total of 25 health facilities across five districts. Most of the facilities where AHF Malawi is working are in the Southwest zone, a region with the highest HIV prevalence of 14.2%. AHF Malawi program employees several strategies as listed below: enhancing access and availability of quality HIV preventive services, improving quality of HIV medical care, human resource support, infrastructural development. The program recently developed its policy and advocacy portfolio to contribute to sustaining an enabling environment for HIV prevention efforts at national, district and community levels.
- Kang’oma health center in Lilongwe District, MOH Central west zone. Two more sites to be added in 2023.
- Mphathi, Mganja and Lobi health centers in Dedza district, MOH Central west zone.
- Nzama, Kalimanjira, Kasinje and Katsekera health centers in Ntcheu district, MOH Central west Zone.
- Ngabu Rural Hospital, Bereu, Ndakwera, Nkumaniza, Makhuwira, Montfort hospital, Mapelera, Chipwaila and Gaga Health Centers in Chikwawa district, MOH Southwest Zone.
- Nsanje district hospital, Kalemba hospital, Trinity hospital, Sorgin, Mbenje, Ndamera, Masenjere, Tengani health centers in Nsanje district, MOH Southwest zone.
Triza Hara, Country Program Director
Area 10. Mphongo Street, Plot No. 10/72, Private Bag B438, Lilongwe.
Mobile Line: + (265) 887 885 195
Ground Line: + (265) 887 006 235
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Clients in AHF Care: 43, 300
Adults and children living with HIV: 990,000
Adults 15-49 prevalence rate: 7.7%
*Averages, UNAIDS 2021 estimates