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This African Nation Just Hit an HIV Milestone

Zimbabwe

Zimbabwe has hit and surpassed a global target for HIV testing and treatment.

The country’s Ministry of Health and Child Care confirmed that 95 percent of the HIV-positive population in Zimbabwe has reached undetectable levels of the virus, reports New Ziana. That means these individuals cannot transmit the virus to others.

This comes in line with UNAIDS’ 95-95-95 goal, which aims to end the HIV epidemic by 2030. To do this, UNAIDS calls for 95 percent of HIV-positive patients to know their status, 95 percent of diagnosed patients to take antiretroviral therapy (ART), and 95 percent of people taking ART to have viral suppression by 2025.

Dr. Chiedza Mupanguri from health ministry presented the preliminary data for Zimbabwe at the Media Engagement Workshop in Chinhoyi. The data showed that Zimbabwe as a whole had achieved the suppression target among HIV-positive patients after an intervention that targeted every community in the country.

Regardless of previous diagnosis or antiretroviral therapy status, the data showed that the country had hit the UNAIDS’ 95-95-95 suppression goal; Zimbabwe now has one of the world's highest reported levels of viral suppression.

Even better, among the patients who knew their status, the percentage surpassed the required goal and currently sits at 96 percent. Positive patients on ART have also surpassed the goal at 97 percent.

According to Dr. Precious Andifasi, the Deputy Co-coordinator for Prevention of Mother to Child Transmission in MOHCC, the report showed effective intervention played a role in increasing the population’s viral suppression. The National Strategic Plan that runs from 2020-2025 also showed that treatment is a major area where resources are spent. They also said that prevention is better than a cure.

Of the 1.3 million HIV-positive people in Zimbabwe,1.2 million are adults, and approximately the same amount, both adults and children, are on ART. The nation recorded an 11.8 percent HIV prevalence rate and 0.45 percent rate of new infections.

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