By Farai Chikore
CHINHOYI- ZIMBABWE has achieved and surpassed UNAIDS’ 95-95-95 HIV testing and treatment target, three years ahead of the set time, a Ministry of Health and Child Care (MOHCC) officials has said.
In December 2020 the United Nations Programme on HIV and AIDS (UNAIDS) set targets with the goal of ending the AIDS epidemic by 2030, by calling for 95% of people living with HIV to know their HIV status, 95% diagnosed with HIV infection to receive sustained antiretroviral therapy (ART) and 95% of people receiving ART to have viral suppression by 2025.
Preliminary data presented by Dr Chiedza Mupanguri from MOHCC at the recently held Media engagement workshop in Chinhoyi showed that Zimbabwe had achieved the viral suppression target among all HIV positive participants in an intervention that targeted all communities in the country.
It has emerged that of all those who have been tested, 95% now have undetectable HIV-1 RNA regardless of previous diagnosis or Antiretroviral therapy status.
The country has met the viral suppression target in the UNAIDS 95-95-95 target, and is one of the highest reported levels of population viral suppression globally.
Among those who know their status, the percentage has surpassed the required target and is now at 96% while those who are positive and are on ART are 97% – above the 95% target.
Dr Precious Andifasi the Deputy Co-coordinator for Prevention of Mother to Child Transmission (PMTCT) in MOHCC said the report shows that the intervention was effective in increasing population viral suppression to very high levels.
She said that National Strategic Plan running from 2020-2025 shows that treatment is one of the major areas where resources are spent and prevention is better than cure.
Planned costing and cost-effectiveness analyses will be critical in informing policy formulation.
In Zimbabwe 1.3 million people are living with HIV, 1.2million are adults and the rest are children while 1.2 million people are on ART.
The nation has recorded 11.8% HIV prevalence rate and 0.45% new infections.