National AIDs Coordinating Agency (NACA) coordinator, Richard Matlhare says Botswana is close to winning the battle against HIV/AIDS.
When addressing the media early this week Matlhare noted that the country has recorded a decline of 71% in HIV incidence between 2001 and 2011, the second highest in the world.
Botswana is among the top 26 countries where new HIV infections declined by more than 50% between 2001 and 2012.
“The number of new HIV infections continues to decline and we await results of the fourth Botswana AIDS Impact Survey in a few months for improved statistics,’ said Matlhare.
He went on to disclose that NACA was striving to eliminate new HIV infections by 2016 which can only be attained through drastic changes in sexual behaviour such as high levels of condom use and reduction in multiple sexual partners.
Commenting on their efforts to eliminate HIV infection among children and to reduce maternal deaths, Matlhare said Botswana has reached the global target of reducing at least by 90% the number of new infections among children by 2015.
He disclosed that in 2012, there were less than 320 new HIV infections among children from 500 in 2011.
Botswana is among five countries in Africa that have achieved more than 80%coverage of HIV treatment.
The other four are Namibia, Rwanda, Swaziland and Zambia.
More than 96% of Batswana eligible for treatment are receiving treatment contributing to declines in the number of AIDS related deaths. In April 2012, Botswana implemented the 2013 World Health Organization HIV treatment guidelines of providing treatment to all pregnant women, children, cancer patients and everyone with CD 4 count of 350 or less.
Evidence has emerged that antiretroviral therapies can reduce the risk of HIV transmission by as much as 96% further contributing towards elimination of new HIV infections and elimination of AIDS related deaths.