Wednesday @ UNIC: Progress on HIV and AIDS MDG targets in Zimbabwe

The 4th Wednesday @ UNIC public discussion forum took place on 5 December featuring the Millennium Development Goal targets on HIV and AIDS in Zimbabwe.

UNAIDS Country Coordinator, Ms. Shoumilina, guest speaker at the forum, presented an update on HIV and AIDS targets of the MDG6 in Zimbabwe. The targets on HIV and AIDS under MDG6 include achieving by 2010 universal access to treatment for HIV for all those who need it and having halted and begun to reverse the spread of HIV by 2015.

The Country Coordinator said that Zimbabwe is on track to achieve the HIV and AIDS related targets of MDG 6. Guided by a clear national strategy coupled with innovative investment initiatives, with the support from the United Nations and other development partners, within the past decade the country effectively reduced new HIV infections by 50%.

A key factor to the reduction in new HIV infections has been the successful behaviour change interventions and increased coverage of prevention of mother to child transmission programmes that resulted in 8,000 fewer new HIV infections in children since 2009. Decentralization and intensive scale up of Anti-Retroviral Treatment (ART) programme has enabled Zimbabwe to provide ARV therapy to additional 260,000 people over  the period of 2009 to 2011, with 436,181 adults receiving life-saving treatment by end-2011. However, at the end of 2011, only 37% of children eligible for treatment were on ART.

Sustaining both scale up – especially of pediatric ART - and achieving service coverage, improving quality of services through inclusive participation and partnership, ensuring strategic investment for greatest impact were identified as key  issues to get to Zero and attain MDG 6 in Zimbabwe.

For more information 2012 -2015 ZUNDAF National Priority Area 6: Universal Access to HIV Prevention, Treatment, Care and Support

Read the story highlighting the previous Wednesday@UNIC