DESPITE RECENT GAINS IN FIGHT AGAINST HIV/AIDS, INFECTION RATE IN ZANZIBAR, TANZANIA, STILL ALARMING

DAR-ES-SALAAM, Despite recent progress charted in the fight against HIV/AIDS in Tanzania, the rate infection is still alarming among Zanzibaris, a new report has warned.

The report noted a decline in infection thanks to a number of programmes to control the spread of HIV/ AIDS in the semi-autonomous region of Zanzibar. It says there were only 173 new HIV infections between 2015 and 2016, which indicates that HIV prevention and treatment interventions were bearing fruit.

According to the report, 69,155 people were tested between July 2015 and March 2016, out of whom 810, equal to 1.2 per cent, were found to live with the HIV/AIDS virus.

Sexual intercourse, especially heterosexual sex, accounts for more than 91 per cent of HIV transmission in Zanzibar. HIV transmission through piercing and other surgical invasive equipment accounts for approximately 7.0 per cent of all HIV transmission, the report reads in part.

The report cited data from the Zanzibar Integrated HIV/TB/Leprosy Programme, (ZIHTLP), which estimates that about 5.0 per cent of HIV transmission is from mother to child. It further reported that HIV transmission among injecting drug users accounts for 15.1 per cent.

However, the government remains upbeat in the fight against the deadly disease, saying it has succeeded to control transmission of HIV to below 1.0 per cent.

Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK