HomeLocal NewsGovt to put 85% on anti-retrovirals

Govt to put 85% on anti-retrovirals

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Government has embarked on an ambitious programme of rolling out anti-retroviral treatment (ART) to 85% of the infected population by 2015, a move likely to significantly reduce Aids-related deaths.

This was revealed by National Aids Council (NAC) Bulawayo provincial coordinator Sinatra Nyathi at the launch of a positive-living digital versatile disc (DVD) by Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF-Spain) in the city on Tuesday.

“In Zimbabwe, one million people are living with HIV and 150 000 of them are children. Amongst the infected, about 350 000 are receiving ARTs out of 593 333 that are in need of treatment,” he said.

“The Zimbabwe national HIV and Aids strategic plan from 2011 to 2015 aims to provide ARTs to 85% of those in need by 2015, and this should reduce deaths by a further 27%.”

Nyathi said about 28 149 children were receiving treatment while 89 490 children were in need of ARTs. MSF-Spain head of mission Mari Vinoles said the project was meant to highlight the hope and testimonies of those affected or infected by the HIV pandemic.

“This project states the relevance of the PMTCT (Prevention of Mother to Child Transmission) programmes to obtain an HIV-free generation in highly HIV-prevalent areas,” she said. MSF is supporting more than 35 000 people living with HIV in Zimbabwe and hopes to increase the number of children receiving treatment from 31% to 80% in 2015, in line with the Millennium Development Goals.

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