New HIV infections drop 8,4%

National Aids Council

NEW HIV infections in the country dropped from 25 000 in 2020 to 22 800, which translates to 8,4%, in 2021, National Aids Council chief executive officer Bernard Madzima said yesterday.

Madzima said this at Rudhaka Stadium in Marondera during Worlds Aids Day commemorations, where Mashonaland East Provincial Affairs and Devolution minister Aplonia Munzverengwi was the guest of honour.

“After taking some knocks from the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, the national response has been on a recovery trajectory. The number of new HIV infections dropped from 24 900 in 2020 to 22 800 in 2021, while the antiretroviral therapy coverage rose from 92% to 92,43% of the 1 301 400 people living with HIV during the same period,” Madzima said.

“There is a need to increase availability, quality and sustainability of services for HIV treatment, testing and prevention so that everyone is well served.”

In a speech read on his behalf, Vice-President and Health and Child Care minister Constantino Chiwenga said Zimbabwe had already achieved the 95-95-95 targets well ahead of 2025.

“HIV prevalence at 11,58% in 2021 has hovered around 12% for more than five years now, which is a seal of approval of the effectiveness of our treatment programmes,” Chiwenga said.

Meanwhile, the ruling Zanu PF party hijacked the World Aids Day commemorations with thousands of members attending the event clad in party regalia.

About 40 buses from State-owned Zimbabwe United Passenger Company were deployed to ferry party supporters to the event after they were told that they were going to a rally to be addressed by President Emmerson Mnangagwa.

Some top Zanu PF party officials had to change into formal wear after realising that it was an HIV/Aids event.

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