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17 Apr 2015 - 09:40

Newsday
16 April 2015
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HARARE - Senators have suggested compulsory testing of prisoners as HIV and AIDS continue to worsen among inmates at correctional facilities.

The Senate Thematic Committee on HIV and AIDS said there was a need to review the current legislation to ensure that compulsory HIV testing was done on inmates to control the further spread of the disease within prisons. The committee presented its first report on the anti-retroviral therapy (ART) rollout programme which revealed that only Harare Central and Khami prisons were accredited to administer ART. Mashonaland Central Senator Monica Mavhunga (Zanu PF) said when the Thematic Committee on HIV and AIDS visited Chikurubi Maximum Security Prison, they were told that the HIV problem was serious. “The committee suggested that some inmates were affected psychologically and it was up to them to decide whether to get tested or not and mentally challenged inmates cannot undergo testing because the law does not allow people to be tested involuntarily,” Mavhunga said.

7 Apr 2015 - 14:26

The National AIDS Council and the UNAIDS Zimbabwe will jointly host the UNAIDS Executive Director, Michel Sidibe from 10 April to 13 April 2015.  The purpose of his visit is to acquaint with Zimbabwe’s response to HIV. Zimbabwe is the current chair of the UNAIDS board. 

Zimbabwe is doing well in its endeavors to achieve the UNAIDS’ ambitious target of 90-90-90 through the reduction of new infections and the provision of HIV and AIDS services.  The UNAIDS set the 90-90-90 target for 2020 as a milestone towards ending AIDS by 2030. The target refers to three key steps that are essential to both better health and care for HIV positive people. According to these targets:
• 90% of all people living with HIV should know their status.
• 90% of all those who are diagnosed HIV positive to be on sustained antiretroviral treatment (ART).
• 90% of those on ART having an undetectable viral load.

Mr Sidibe will get an appreciation of Zimbabwe’s HIV management systems,  including our domestic funding concept in the form of the AIDS levy.

The UNAIDS Executive Director and the Minister of Health and Child Care, Dr David Parirenyatwa will officiate at a  national prevention symposium and launch of accelerated district responses to reduce new infections which  will be held in Bulawayo from 10 to 11 April 2015.  The symposium will be attended by stakeholders in the national response to HIV and officials from twenty selected districts from across the country. Some of the objectives of the symposium are:
• To discuss action and commitments by the targeted districts to reducing new infections through improved coordination, planning and harmonization of interventions.
• To discuss and agree on accountability mechanisms for the twenty districts’ responses to implementing prevention packages commitments on prevention.

The districts were selected following a Hot Spot Mapping exercise. According to the World Health Organisation, an HIV and AIDS hotspot is defined as a geographical area or location with evidence of high prevalence of HIV, STIs or behaviours that put people at risk for acquiring HIV infection. The districts according to this mapping are: Beitbridge, Gwanda, Insiza, Umzingwane, Matobo, Mangwe, Bulilima, Nkayi, Umguza, Bubi, all Bulawayo districts, Marondera, Makonde, Hurungwe, Chegutu, Shamva, Mazowe, Bindura, Buhera, Centenary and  Chipinge.

30 Mar 2015 - 11:59

ZIMBABWE requires about $22,5 million annually to monitor the health of 750,000 HIV positive locals who are currently on anti-retroviral treatment (ART). The latest World Health Organisation (WHO) HIV treatment guidelines call for patients to receive a viral load test once a year to allow the switching of clients to favourable drugs. A viral load test measures the number of HIV particles in a blood sample. However, due to limited funds, Zimbabwe is presently providing repeat CD4 count checks which are considerably cheaper than viral load testing. Ministry health Aids and TB Unit director, Owen Mugurungi, said the government does not have the money for viral load monitoring, forcing the country to rely on CD4 counts.

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