NAC Zimbabwe is set to adopt new World Health Organization (WHO) Antiretroviral Therapy (ART) guidelines which have reviewed the stage at which a person living with HIV can be initiated on ART. The guidelines now states that a person living with HIV can be initiated on Antiretroviral therapy if his or her CD4 count is 500 or below (up from 350). Zimbabwe is currently using the 2010 WHO guidelines which use CD4 count of 350 for ART initiation. National AIDS Council Chief Executive Officer Dr Tapuwa Magure announced the new development at a NAC progress review management meeting. “ WHO has released new ART guidelines, recommending ART initiation to be done using CD4 count of 500 up from 350. As a country we will review and adopt this recommendation.”
At least 25 percent of children born with HIV in Zimbabwe are a result of mothers who would have shunned anti-retroviral Therapy (ART),a senior Government health official has said. Ministry of Health and Child Welfare national Prevention of Mother to Child Transmission (PMTCT) co-ordinator Dr Angela Mushavi said a further 75 percent of HIV-positive children were born to mothers whose CD4 count is below 350. According to health experts, a CD4 count that is less than 350 is life-threatening for pregnant women. “Seventy-five percent of the HIV born babies in the country are by mothers who have CD4 counts less than 350,” said Dr Mushavi. “The other 25 percent is a result of mothers who delay initiation of ART because they would have undertaken HIV and Aids tests at a late stage of pregnancy.”
A new progress report released by UNICEF titled "Committing to Child Survival: A Promise Renewed" is showing a sharp drop in the estimated number of deaths among children under the age of five worldwide. This number fell from nearly 12 million in 1990 to an estimated 6.9 million in 2011. Releasing the report, UNICEF Executive Director Anthony Lake said, “The global decline in under-five mortality is a significant success that is a testament to the work and dedication of many, including governments, donors, agencies and families.” The report combines mortality estimates with insights into the top killers of children under five and the high-impact strategies that are needed to accelerate progress.
Justine, a 38-year-old Ugandan woman, tested positive for HIV during an antenatal visit at the local health centre when she was pregnant with her fourth child. After disclosing her HIV status to her husband, he left home and never came back. She did not go through the pregnancy alone though. Justine had the support from her peers at Giramatsiko Post Test Club, a grassroots organization established in 2002 in Kabwohe, Uganda. The organization was set up by seven women living with HIV with the aim to empower and educate their peers about HIV prevention, treatment, care and support. In addition to focusing on their health and physical well-being, Giramatisko also empowers women to understand their rights to health services.
UNAIDS welcomes new guidelines for couples on HIV testing and counselling and on offering antiretroviral therapy to people living with HIV in couples to reduce the risk of transmitting the virus to their partner
GENEVA, 19 April 2012—New guidelines have been issued encouraging couples to go together for HIV testing in order to know their HIV status. The guidelines, released by the World Health Organization (WHO), also recommend that in couples who are serodiscordant—where one partner is living with HIV and the other not—antiretroviral therapy is offered to the person living with HIV to prevent his or her partner from becoming infected with the virus.
Mercy Kaitano (not her real name), a 28-year-old woman living with HIV, receives anti-retroviral drugs (ARV) from a local clinic in Mabvuku suburb every month. The drugs are supplied through funding from the Global Fund (GF). Kaitano was introduced onto the ARV treatment regime in 2007 after her husband died of an HIV-related ailment. “Being on the programme is not easy. Sometimes when you visit the clinic, they will tell you the drugs have run out. If I don’t take the drugs constantly, it means I will become drug resistant. There is need for uninterrupted supply of drugs to patients,” she said.
Zim to mark World TB Day commemorations Monica Cheru-Mupambawashe The Herald 25 January 2012
Harare - This year World TB Day commemorations are set to be held in Bulawayo on March 24, advocacy, communication and social mobilization /community TB care officer in the Ministry of Health and Child Welfare AIDS and TB Unit Mr Andrew Nyambo has announced. The slogan for the year is "Stop TB in My Lifetime" while the theme is "Call for a World Free of TB". Many activities, including marches, are slotted for the day in which the Ministry of Health and Child Welfare and other organisations will be hoping to raise awareness.
The National AIDS Council (NAC) has released its audited financial statements for the year ended 31st December 2010. These financial statements comprise the statement of financial position, the statement of comprehensive income and the statement of cash flows for the period then ended, and the notes to the financial statements, which include a summary of significant accounting policies and other explanatory notes.
Lloyd Gumbo recently in Mbembesi Zimbabweans have been urged to embrace circumcision to reduce their chances of contracting HIV and Aids. Speaking at a welcoming ceremony for the visiting South African King of the Xhosa, Zwelonke Sigcawu and his delegation in Mbembesi last Friday, Mines and Mining Development Minister Obert Mpofu hailed the Xhosa people in Umguza for observing their culture. King Zwelonke is the first Xhosa King to visit Zimbabwe since the Xhosa people migrated from South Africa more than hundred years ago. He came with members of the royal family. Minister Mpofu said Government has adopted circumcision as an HIV preventive measure strategy had started a long time ago with the Xhosa. The minister said he was strong and healthy because he had been circumcised and leant a lot of things from the Xhosa.