Zimbabwe: HIV Infections Decline – VP Chiwenga

Herald Correspondent

Zimbabwe is experiencing a significant decline in new HIV and Aids infections, but unity is still required among citizens for a further reduction in new cases.

The same commitment is equally required in the fight against Covid-19, for which almost 700 new cases have been recorded in the last seven days.

Vice President Constantino Chiwenga, who is also the Health and Child Care Minister, said this in his World Aids Day commemoration address yesterday during an event hosted by the National Aids Council (NAC) in Harare.

“The commemoration serves as both a national and local platform for the unity of nations to remember those that have died due to Aids and reflect on the progress we have recorded in 2020 in responding to the pandemic as well as we dedicate ourselves to revitalising the response and change its trajectory towards ending Aids by 2030,” said VP Chiwenga.

“We are commemorating the World Aids Day this day under unprecedented circumstances, which have been forced upon us by the Covid-19 pandemic whose impact has been far-reaching for humanity across the globe.

“Lives have been lost, ways of life have been altered, geography, social and economic spaces have all been altered too. In addition to this, Covid-19 has been a major wake-up call to all health delivery systems.

“The pandemic caught us all unaware and we have had to learn as we go, including collaborating with regional and global partners in building systems and structures, as well as introducing necessary social economic adjustments to tackle the pandemic.”

This year’s commemorations ran under the theme: “Global Solidarity, Shared Responsibility”.

VP Chiwenga said Zimbabwe had so far minimised the overall impact of Covid-19 compared to the modelling projections.

NAC chief executive Dr Bernard Madzima, said Zimbabwe’s national response had improved over the years on the strength of global solidarity and shared responsibility.

“Out of the estimated 1,3 million people living with HIV, nearly 1,2 million are on treatment. The HIV prevalence has been declining over the years from 13,70 percent in 2015 to 12,78 percent in 2019.

“Prevalence has also fallen from 0,62 percent in 2016 to 0,49 percent in 2019, taking us closer to achieving the 90-90-90 targets. The percentage of people living with HIV who know their status has already reached 90 percent, while treatment coverage is over 90 percent.

“Estimates project that 20 000 Zimbabweans will be infected by HIV in 2020.”


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