Although the HIV prevalence rate amongst young people have declined in recent years, there is still a disproportionate number of young women and girls who are becoming newly infected across the region.
HIV testing and counselling (HTC) is key to reducing overall HIV infections and accessing adequate health services. HIV prevention knowledge in Eastern and Southern Africa also remains insufficient with an average of 45% of men and 42% of women with adequate knowledge.
As part of the collective response to reduce new infections among young people, countries, such as Namibia, has found innovative strategies to increase testing and barriers to access services.
Namibia’s Ministry of Education, Arts and Culture has piloted a first of its kind school-based HIV testing and counselling service at selected schools across the country. This pilot will generate crucial evidence that will help inform national policy on the best adolescent and youth-friendly HTC approaches to take nationwide. Over 500 adolescents and young people have already been reached through the initiative, of which 83% were first time testers.
Stay tuned for more stories that mark two years of progress of the Eastern and Southern Africa (ESA) Ministerial Commitment!