Ministry embarks on project to test 500 000 people for HIV

The Health and Child Welfare ministry is set to embark on a project to test at least 500 000 people throughout Zimbabwe for HIV in 10 days beginning on November 24 through to December 3.

The project is aimed at reducing the spread of HIV and Aids by promoting HIV status knowledge among Zimbabweans.

Speaking at a Matabeleland North National Aids Council provincial stakeholders meeting last week in Bulawayo, the ministry’s STI/HIV coordinator for Matabeleland North, Seretse Maphosa, said the campaign would target 30 000 people in the region.

“The campaign aims to test more than 500 000 people for HIV from all provinces in the nation and within Bulawayo province the targeted number is at 30 000,” he said.

“In Bulawayo, the campaign will involve 30 teams of five people each. These teams will mobilise residents to go and test so that they can be aware of their HIV status.”

Maphosa called on stakeholders to participate in the campaign at district level.

“Participation of stakeholders in the HIV test campaign would go a long way to assist us in reaching 500 000 people in that 10-day period,” he said.

Maphosa said there would be district-based training for those willing to participate in the campaign.
He added the Ministry of Health had noted the general public was willing to get tested but wanted HIV testing services closer to it.

Following reports from the Ministry of Health and Child Welfare in 2009 that Zimbabwe had one of the highest HIV prevalence in the world at 13,7% in the 15 to 49 age group, a 2010-2011 survey conducted by Zimbabwe National Statistics Agency revealed an increase in HIV and Aids awareness.

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