Province succeeds against AIDS

By Archford Chirimudombo

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MARONDERA – THE Minister of State for Provincial Affairs and Devolution, Dr Aplonia
Munzverengwi, has called for concerted efforts in the fight against AIDS, with an estimated
139 450 people living with HIV in Mashonaland East.
Of that number, 82 896 of them are females while 56 547 are males and 138 463 of them are
on Anti-Retroviral Treatment (ART).
In a speech read on her behalf by Muchemwa Mugwisi, who is the Director in her office at
the national commemorations of World AIDS Day at Rudhaka Stadium, Dr Munzverengwi
said the province had to work hard to achieve the targets of ART.
She said: “The province witnessed 1 945 AIDS-related deaths in 2021. This shows that the
HIV/AIDS pandemic is not yet over and calls for concerted efforts to respond to the
epidemic. Our HIV prevalence has dropped significantly over the years, from over 35 percent
in 2010 to 14.2 percent in 2021, while incidence also dropped from 0.45 percent in 2010 to
0.18 percent in 2021.
“Adult ART coverage in the province stands at 87 percent for adults while children’s ART
coverage stands at 68 percent according to 2021 HIV estimates report. The province needs to
work very hard in order to achieve the 95 target percent ART coverage for both adults and
children. Therefore, I call upon investment of more resources towards HIV testing, ART
initiation and adherence monitoring for children.”
Dr Munzverengwi added that the province has introduced several HIV intervention models to
address a plethora of HIV-related challenges.
”Mashonaland East is confronted with a myriad of HIV-related challenges, which include
child marriages, drug and substance abuse, multiple concurrent partnerships and school drop-
outs. To try and address these challenges, the province, through the National AIDS Council
(NAC) and other various implementing partners developed a model approach for
implementation in all districts.
“The HIV intervention models in the province include Brotha 2 Brotha, Sista 2 Sista,
behaviour change and communication, Key Affected Populations (KAP), male engagement,
peer-led, parent-to-child communication, comprehensive sexuality education and DREAMS.
Our major target populations include adolescent girls and young women, adolescent boys and
young men, artisanal miners, sex workers and farm workers,” she said.

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