AMBASSADOR Daniel Foote and Minister of Health Chitalu Chilufya yesterday announced the U.S. government’s plans to contribute $421 million next year in support of the joint goal of reaching HIV epidemic control in Zambia by 2020.
In a statement by the US Embassy’s public affairs officer, the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) had made the funds available to facilitate programming from the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Peace Corps, and U.S. Departments of State and Defense.
“To date, the U.S. government has contributed almost $4 billion towards controlling HIV in Zambia over the past 16 years, demonstrating the commitment of the American people to a strong and healthy Zambia,” according to the press release.
“Ambassador Foote appealed to Zambian men to make sure they remain healthy by knowing their status and then starting and remaining on treatment, if HIV-positive.”
Ambassador Foote told men, who do not want going to the clinic when not sick that “we cannot control HIV without you”.
“Knowing your status and starting treatment if positive takes courage, but it is critical that you lead by example and show that strong men are not afraid of knowing their status and are not afraid of HIV treatment in order to protect those they love,” he said.
According to the embassy, PEPFAR, in collaboration with the Zambian government, will next year initiate more than 80,000 men on HIV treatment.
Ambassador Foote made a similar plea to religious leaders to encourage their congregations to take the same actions and recognised the leadership and commitment of the Zambian government toward making progress in achieving HIV epidemic control by 2020.