A total of 19 people are living with HIV/AIDS in the country.

HIV/AIDS Coordinator of Gizo Hospital, Western Province, Ellen Tanito speaking during the World AIDS Day celebration yesterday, said the total number people infected by HIV/AIDs has increased from 36 to 37 in 2021 and 2022.

She told those present that the cases are distributed as 17 male and 20 female.

“So far we have a total of 37 cases HIV/AIDs cases registered in the country. 18 have died and 19 people are still on treatment.

“Of these 19 cases, 16 patients are under medication while others have lost contact with health authorities – meaning they have lost their medication.

“Of the existing cases, 10 are women and nine are men,” Tanito said.

She said the number of cases at hand are those who have been tested by health authorities.

Tanito said HIV testing is voluntary and anyone who wants to check his/her status can reach out to the nearest clinic or hospital to do their test.

Globally, 38.4 million people were living with HIV at the end of 2021, according to the World Health Organisation (WHO).

WHO says the African region remains mostly affected, with nearly one in every 25 adults living with HIV and accounting for more than two-thirds of the people living with HIV world-wide.

HIV (human immunodeficiency virus), according to WHO, is a virus that damages the cells in your immune system and weakens your ability to fight everyday infections and disease.

“AIDS (acquired immune deficiency syndrome) is the name used to describe a number of potentially life-threatening infections and illnesses that happen when your immune system has been severely damaged by the HIV virus.

“While AIDS cannot be transmitted from 1 person to another, the HIV virus can.

“There’s currently no cure for HIV, but there are very effective drug treatments that enable most people with the virus to live a long and healthy life,” WHO says. 

With an early diagnosis and effective treatments, most people with HIV will not develop any AIDS-related illnesses and will live a near-normal lifespan.

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