The National Aids Commission (NAC) has refuted reports circulating on social media platforms that the commission has recently released research findings indicating that 35 percent of students in public universities in Malawi are living with HIV.
In a public statement dated November 25, the commission’s corporate services and public relations officer Karen Iron Msiska says there is nothing of that sort and the commission never conducted such research hence the reporting circulating on social media platforms is fake.
Msiska added that the only recent and accurate statistics on HIV and AIDS they released are in the 2021 HIV Epidemiological Estimates for Malawi.
“A Snapchat of these estimates indicates that 28 percent of all new HIV infections (including children) and 33 percent of new adult HIV infections (15 years and above) are among adolescent girls and young women aged 15-25 years. These statistics were publicized through the local media as soon as they were released in July 2021 and are available on the NAC website: www. aidsmalawi.org.mw,”, said Msiska in a statement.
Msiska then warned that spreading false, misleading or inaccurate information on HIV and AIDS is a criminal offense punishable by law under section 25 of the HIV and AIDS (prevention and management) Act number 9 of 2018.
He added that the provision states that anyone found guilty of the offence will be fined K5 million and imprisoned for five years in the case of an individual and K10 million in the case of an institution.
Meanwhile, the commission has encouraged the public to verify any information on HIV and AIDS with NAC before spreading it.