Zim records 1k HIV infections weekly, UN

via Zim records 1k HIV infections weekly, UN – NewZimbabwe 21/10/2015

UNAIDS has said Zimbabwe is recording 1000 new HIV infections every week and urged stakeholders in the health sector to multiply efforts aimed at countering an emerging catastrophe.

Currently, over 1.3 million people are living with HIV with half of them accessing treatment.

Those on treatment are getting the Anti-Retroviral drugs from donors with government contributing a small potion from AIDS levy-a tax it deducts from formal workers.

Coupled with the use of donor funding and AIDS levy, the country has however managed to reduce HIV prevalence from over 27% in 1997 to 15%.

“HIV is still an enormous disease burden. Every week in Zimbabwe there are a thousand new infections amongst many women and children,” said Michael Bartos, the UNAIDS country director.

Bartos was speaking Wednesday during a UN-media breakfast meeting which also served as a platform to discuss the recently launched 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development where government was also presenting the final national position on the Sustainable Development Goals.

“So, the epidemic is still going on even though the country has halved the size of it,” added Bartos.

The local UNAIDS boss advised Zimbabwe to take advantage of the next week’s Geneva joint global board of UN programme on AIDS conference which the country currently chairs and push for more funding.

The UNAIDS meeting is expected to adopt new strategies for 2016 to 2021.

According the UN GAP Report of 2014, Zimbabwe accounted for 3% of all new HIV infections globally in 2013.

The country is in the same ranks with Zambia and Tanzania, who also reported low new infection rates.

The country also accounted for 4% of all AIDS-related deaths globally in 2013, down 57 percent from 2005.