HEALTH Minister Sylvia Masebo (below) has cautioned people living with HIV to be wary of scammers wanting to rob them of their money by claiming that they have found the cure for the virus.
Ms Mascbo said currently there was no cure for HIV and therefore people living with the virus should not be swayed into paying money to individuals claiming that they had medicines that could cure them.
Speaking when she launched the 15th Annual HIV/TB/Hepatitis B Technical conference in Lusaka yesterday, Ms Masebo said there had been reports recently of some people claiming to have medicines to cure HIV.
“Let us not be swayed by these individuals. They are after your hard carned resources. Let us use the best available and scientifically proven medicines to treat HIV. As Minister of Health, I will not hesitate to fast track the approval locally, of any scientifically proven cure should it be available,” she said.
She said the Government would not allow Zambians to be robbed of their resources through scammers claiming to have cures for 1 HIV.
She said that there was need that there was need for equity in controlling epidemics and Zambia could not continue to use generalised approaches.
“The data is clear on the populations that have been left behind and are at a higher risk of these infections. For instance, we know the prevalence of HIV is 50 per cent among female sex workers compared to the 11 per cent in the general population,” she said.
Ms Masebo said statistics had shown that the viral load suppression was at 80 per cent among children compared to 96 per cent in adults.
She was hopeful that the conference would demonstrate best practices in the implementation of specific population targeted interventions and ensure that the interventions were sustainable, scalable and efficient.
Ms Masebo added that Zambia had successfully reduced the number of COVID-19 cases and attained the 70 per cent milestone for vaccinations against pandemic.
“My appeal to all of you is for us to keep our guard up and not allow weariness,” she said.
She said research in COVID-19 and other emerging and re- emerging pandemics must continue, and so must be surveillance, epidemic preparedness, training and management of COVID-19 as the fight against it was not yet over.
She said tremendous improvement had been made in controlling TB in Zambia as case identification had improved to over 50,000 cases per year with an incidence of 319 per 100,000 people.
She said the drug resistance survey results had shown that the prevalence of multi-drug resistant TB in Zambia was at less than three per cent while the provision of preventive TB therapy coverage had increased to 70 per cent of all those receiving Antiretroviral therapy.
“This means that over 1,000,000 people have received the TB Prevention Therapy (IPT).” Ms Masebo said.