UNAIDS lauds Zim’s HIV response

THE Joint United Nations Program on HIV and AIDS (UNAIDS) has commended Zimbabwe for its initiatives aimed at fighting HIV and AIDS.
Last year’s statistics showed there are 1 300 000 million people living with HIV. The burden is still high among women compared to men as 790 000 women aged 15 and above are living with HIV against 470 000 men of the same age.
Through initiatives as the Prevention of Mother To Child Transmission (PMTCT) the number of children aged 0 to 14 is
79 000.
With Zimbabwe faring well ahead of other SADC countries in the combat against HIV/AIDS, UNAIDS bemoans that the progress has been uneven.
“The gains made through people-centred approaches within the highest performing HIV programmes have been tempered by insufficient action in other countries,” said UNAIDS.

With the Test and Treat protocol in every health facility in Zimbabwe,UNAIDS feels the country has been an HIV testing and treatment leader. Over 90 percent of Zimbabweans have been tested and are receiving treatment.
“The southern African country’s AIDS Levy has mobilized a significant amount of domestic funding, communities are strongly engaged in service delivery and international financial and technical support has been strong and consistent. Eighty-two per cent of adults living with HIV in the country have suppressed viral loads,” UNAIDS said.

Mozambique’s HIV response in contrast to Zimbabwe has been dispiriting.

“Neighbouring Mozambique, by contrast, has lagged behind the regional average, leaving nearly half (44%) of adults living with HIV in the country with unsuppressed viral loads. Conflict, climate change, high levels of poverty and poor health infrastructure are among the country’s many challenges,” said UNAIDS.

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