Zim achieves HIV prevention target Dr Madzima

Ivan Zhakata

Herald Correspondent

Zimbabwe has achieved the 90-90-90 target on HIV prevention and is now working on the 95-95-95 target for 2025, while the mortality significantly declined by almost 72 percent in the 10 years between 2010 and 2020, the National Aids Council (NAC) has revealed.

The 90-90-90 is a concept introduced by the United Nations programme on HIV/AIDS in 2013 as an idea that by 2020, 90 percent of people who are HIV infected will be diagnosed, 90 percent of people who are diagnosed will be on antiretroviral treatment and 90 percent of those who receive antiretrovirals will be virally suppressed.

Presenting the Global Aids Monitoring (GAM) report on Friday, NAC chief executive officer Dr Bernard Madzima said the treatment cascade showed that the country achieved the 90-90-90 2020 fast-rack targets.

“We are now working towards the 95-95-95 targets for 2025. The country is on track to reach the epidemic control phase if it continues to implement high impact geo-targeted interventions,” he said.

Dr Madzima said what prompted Zimbabwe to reach its 90-90-90 target on HIV was that the country implemented an integrated HIV Testing Services (HTS) model which deployed different testing approaches for different populations.

“The approaches included facility-based testing (provider initiated and client-initiated testing and counselling), facility and community-based index testing, HIV self-testing and targeted mobile outreach testing. 

HTS is offered in several primary healthcare sites including tuberculosis, antenatal care, sexually transmitted infections and maternal, newborn and child health.

“It is also integrated into other prevention services such as voluntary medical male circumcision, Pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP), post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) and is part of the package for the Determined, Resilient, Empowered, AIDS-free, Mentored, and Safe (DREAMS) initiative for adolescent girls and young women,” he said.

Dr Madzima also said that the AIDS mortality rate in Zimbabwe had declined considerably, showing that people were now aware of the disease.

“AIDS mortality significantly declined by 71.9 percent from 488 in 2010 to 137 in 2020 per 100 000. There was 28.6 percent reduction of AIDS related mortality from 2015 to 2020, which was a miss of Zimbabwe National HIV and AIDS Strategic Plan III (ZNASP) III objective of reducing HIV/AIDS-related mortality by 50 percent for both adults and children by 2020.”

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