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Zim Records Decline In New HIV Infections

The National AIDS Council (NAC) has reported that new infections in the country have declined to 12,78% compared from 13,79% recorded in 2015.

Chief Executive Bernard Madzima for National AIDS Council (NAC) said the prevalence rate among young women remains double that of their male counterparts although the HIV prevalence rate among the 15-49 age group has declined marginally to 12,78% compared to 13,79% recorded in 2015.

“According to 2018 HIV estimates (Nac, Health ministry and UNAids, 2019), the prevalence rate among adults aged 15-49 years declined from 13,79% in 2015 to 12,78% in 2018. The prevalence among young females is almost twice the HIV prevalence among their male peers,” Madzima said.

“New infections among adults of 15+ years and children declined nationally. The national HIV estimates for 2015-2018 also show age variations in which adults 15-49 years have a higher prevalence (12,78%) than children aged 0-14 years (1,46%). For the age group 15-24 years, prevalence among females is almost twice that of males (ZNAPS IV 2021-2025).”

Data from UNAids shows that around 5 500 young women aged between 15 and 24 become infected with HIV weekly globally.

Zimbabwe Population-based HIV Impact Assessment (ZIMPHIA) 2020 found that 86.8 percent of adults living with HIV were aware of their status and of those aware of their status, 97.0 percent were on antiretroviral treatment. Among those on treatment, 90.3 percent achieved viral load suppression.

According to the survey, the rate of annual new HIV infections among adults in Zimbabwe is 0.38 percent (0.54 percent among women and 0.20 percent among men) or approximately 31,000 persons over a year.

“The prevalence of HIV among adults was 12.9 percent, which corresponds to approximately 1.23 million adults in Zimbabwe living with HIV in 2020. Generally, the survey found that HIV prevalence was higher among women than men (15.3 percent vs. 10.2 percent).

Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Health and Child Care Air Commodore, Dr. Jasper Chimedza said ZIMPHIA 2020 findings demonstrate how Zimbabwe’s national HIV policies and programs have contributed to increased access to treatment and viral load suppression among adults living with HIV.

“This survey has helped us understand where we have made great progress and which areas we need to focus on in the future. With these data, we can strengthen our programs on HIV prevention, including testing, especially for young men and women,” said Chimedza.

“The results of ZIMPHIA 2020 are encouraging and demonstrate remarkable progress towards global goals to control the HIV epidemic. Over 90 percent of people on life-saving antiretroviral treatment in Zimbabwe are virally suppressed, which keeps them healthy and effective,” he added.

In the coming decade, Zimbabwe is well-positioned to achieve the UNAIDS goal to end the AIDS epidemic by 2030, as it continues to intensify its efforts to expand HIV testing services and access to life-saving treatment.

 

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