Start free, stay free, AIDS free
The United Nations System in Namibia last week announced and celebrated the appointment of First Lady, Madam Monica Geingos as a UNAIDS Special Advocate for Young Women and Adolescent Girls. Her appoinment brings immense opportunities to Namibia to participate more actively in the global strategy to rid the world of HIV/AIDS. The appointment was done in September shortly after the UN Political Declaration for Ending AIDS by 2030.
Callled Start Free, Stay Free, AIDS Free, this declaration runs an agenda to put the world on a track to end AIDS among children, adolescents and young women. Said Madam Geingos, “I accepted this role because working on issues that affect young women is something I am passionate about. I look forward to using this opportunity to facilitate a discussion at national level that can then be used to advocate at an international level.”
UNAIDS Country Coordinator, Dr. Barihuta Tharcisse stated on Madam Geingos’ appointment “It is an opportunity to accelerate global, continental and Namibian efforts to achieve a shared vision of Ending Aids as a public threat by 2030.”
According to a UN survey, Namibia harbours 230,000 individuals infected with the HIV virus. For adults between 15 and 49, the infection rated is almost 15%. Although Namibia has made great progress to address the HIV and AIDs epidemic, women and girls continue to be disproportionally infected. In Sub-Saharan Africa, six women now live with HIV for every four to five infected men, and one-third to one-half of new mothers in the worst affected countries could die of AIDS in the coming years.