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Only 1 in 4 sexually active Zambian boys know their HIV status, says UNICEF

UNICEF says that only 1 in 4 sexually active boys in Zambia know their HIV status.

And UNICEF has revealed that out of the more than 42,000 young people who have tested HIV positive, only 23,350 are on antiretroviral therapy.

Meanwhile, the UN agency says that only about 36 per cent of HIV exposed children were receiving early infant diagnosis in Zambia.

The latest information available on the UNICEF website: ‘https://www.unicef.org/zambia/hivaids’ indicates that despite large increases in HIV testing and voluntary medical male circumcision among adolescents, condom use by sexually active adolescents remains low at 40 per cent.

“Only half of sexually active adolescent girls aged 15-19 years know their HIV status, while only 1 in 4 sexually active boys know their HIV status,” UNICEF reveals.

The UN agency, however, noted that young people make up the largest age group accessing HIV testing.

“Although more than 42,000 young people tested HIV positive, only 23,350 initiated antiretroviral therapy,” UNICEF indicates.

The UN agency added that HIV testing among pregnant women at antenatal clinics had increased significantly, with 9 out of 10 pregnant women getting tested. UNICEF also reveals that almost all pregnant women tested and found to be living with HIV have been initiated on antiretroviral (ARVs) treatment.

“However, there is a large gap around paediatric AIDS – with only about 36 per cent of HIV exposed children receiving early infant diagnosis, and low treatment coverage (less than 50 per cent) for children 0-14 years living with HIV,” UNICEF revealed.

The UN agency also noted in other key statistics that only four in 10 children under the age of 15 living with HIV were on HIV treatment and only four in 10 adolescents, aged 15-19 years have comprehensive knowledge of HIV.

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