BY JAIROS SAUNYAMA
About 71% of people living with HIV in Mashonaland East are aware of their status as the nation moves towards reducing new infections.
Speaking during a Zimbabwe Population-based HIV Impact Assessment (ZIMPHIA) 2020 sensitisation workshop in Marondera yesterday, an official in Provincial Affairs minister Aplonia Munzverengi’s office, Muchemwa Mugwisi, said about 72% of people living with HIV are on treatment.
“According to the ZIMPHIA 2015-2016 survey results, in Mashonaland East province, 70,9% of people living with HIV knew their status. 72% of those people were on treatment, and 53,7% of those people on treatment were virally suppressed. ZIMPHIA 2015-2016 showed significant progress towards reaching the UNAIDS 90-90-90 target by 2020 and the global target to end Aids by 2030. Despite these remarkable results indicating our progress and achievements, so far, we cannot afford to slow down or scale down our efforts,” he said.
ZIMPHIA 2020 is funded by the US President’s Emergency Plan for Aids Relief (PEPFAR), with technical assistance from the US Center for Disease Control and Prevention.
The programme to come up with a new assessment on the impact on HIV will begin on November 25. “We need to continue to scale up our innovations and best practices and ensure that we are reaching all key and vulnerable populations that are at high risk and make sure that we provide relevant HIV services and products. We also cannot continue to rely on our previous results and therefore the need to carry out another assessment and have the latest picture of the impact of the HIV epidemic in the province,” added Mugwisi.
Zimbabwe has over the years made significant milestones in HIV programming with Mashonaland East’s prevalence rate drastically coming down from a high of 29% in 1999 to the current 16% among the adult population aged 15-64 years. The incidence rate, that is the number of new HIV infections has gone down from 1,03 in 2010 to 0,53 in 2016 in the same age group.
ZIMPHIA director Munyaradzi Mapingure said 0,42% of adults were still getting infected with HIV annually.
“About 0,42% of adults are newly infected with HIV each year. This means about 29 000 new cases of HIV occur annually in this age group. About 0,50% of new infections are among women and 0,33% are among men,” he said.
Following a success story on dealing with new infections, the nation is now moving towards a 95/95/95 target towards 2030.