LUSAKA, July 1 (Xinhua) -- The Zambian government has expressed concern that only about 50 percent of the country's population know their HIV status, state media reported on Friday.
Minister of Health Joseph Kasonde said in an address on state television that as of 2015, only 50 percent of the country's population went for HIV testing.
"I call upon all of us to go for HIV testing because it is the gateway to HIV prevention, treatment and care," he said when launching the Voluntary Counseling and Testing (VCT) commemoration held on Thursday.
The government, he said, will continue to put in place measures aimed at ensuring at last 90 percent of the people know their HIV status in the next five years.
This year's VCT Day was held under the theme "HIV Testing Key in Reaching 90, 90, 90 Targets".
The Zambian minister said the ambitious but achievable target means that the country should ensure that 90 percent of its population living with HIV are tested and know their HIV status, adding that this year's theme also means that 90 percent of people who are HIV-positive should receive treatment and that 90 percent of those receiving treatment live healthy lives.
The government will continue to put in place practical measures to achieve the 90 percent target, he added.
Zambia has one of the highest HIV prevalence rate in sub-Saharan Africa with 14.3 percent of its population aged between 15 and 49 years living with the HIV virus. Enditem