Zambia Medical Association president Dr Abidana Chansa has assured patients and citizens seeking medical attention that their HIV test results will be kept confidential.

In a statement, Dr Chansa said the association was in support of government’s newly announced mandatory HIV testing and treatment policy, saying it was a sure way of hedging the spread of the pandemic.

“Following the President’s pronouncement declaring HIV testing mandatory, Zambia Medical Association wishes to support government’s efforts to end the HIV pandemic. We would like to assure the public that the association remains committed to upholding medical ethics which ensure patients’ confidentiality. Results of the HIV test will be kept confidential. As an association, we are looking strategies that will make sure the care of HIV patients more respectful and the doctor-patient relationship strengthened so that the fear of non-confidentiality is averted,” Dr Chansa stated.

“We recognise that HIV/AIDS remains the number one cause of morbidity and mortality in most health facilities in Zambia. It accounts for most cases of morbidity and takes a lost of resources that are allocated to the health sector.”

He said there was evidence showing that the move would held end AIDS in one generation.

“Credible research has shown that it is possible to end HIV within a generation if Universal Testing and Treatment is implemented. Universal Testing and Treatment takes a 90-90-90 strategy to achieve a generation free of HIV. Through this approach, 90 per cent of the whole population would know their HIV status, 90 per cent of the HIV positive persons should be placed on long-life Antiretroviral drugs and 90 per cent of patients on ARVs should be retained in treatment care and have their viral load suppressed,” stated Dr Chansa.

“Therefore, as an association, we see this as an opportunity to expand HIV services not just to health facility level, but at community level as well. Government and parters in the health sector should invest resources to ensure that we reach 90 per cent of the population knows there status. This would include self-testing kits readily available, door-to-door testing and community testing.”