THE National Aids Council (NAC) has challenged stakeholders in the health sector to join hands in curbing fresh HIV infections.
BY TALENT GUMPO
This comes amid reports that the country has recorded a significant drop in the HIV prevalence rate since 2016.
Speaking at the launch of the new HIV testing services strategies for 2017 to 2020 held at Nketa Clinic in Bulawayo on Friday, NAC monitoring and evaluation director, Amon Mpofu said the country’s HIV prevalence rate had declined from 29% to 14% between 1999 and 2016.
“Let us not see these as just statistics, let’s put faces to them. We are talking about human beings and these figures are quite high especially for the incidence, that figure is very high and we cannot continue doing this. We really need to intervene and reduce the incidence,” he said.
“The country is running out of resources as more people are being put on treatment. Certainly, we cannot afford getting new infections. This is why it is necessary to test and get treatment and we call this closing the tap of new HIV infections.”
Mpofu said HIV testing services had been at the core of the 90-90-90 strategies as it enabled one to know their status, thus, providing the gateway for provision of appropriate prevention, treatment and care support services.
He said the country had adopted the UNAids global fast-track triple 90 targets.
“The aim is to ensure that by 2030 at least 90% of the population living with HIV should know their status, 90% of those diagnosed as HIV positive should receive sustained anti-retroviral therapy and 90% of those receiving ARVs will have virus subtraction,” Mpofu added.