Zim misses HIV testing target

HARARE - Zimbabwe has missed the 2012 HIV testing and counselling target by 13 percent, the National Aids Council (Nac) has said.

Statistics released by the coordinating and facilitating body of the national multi-sectoral response to HIV and Aids, show that almost 90 percent of targeted people have been tested since the beginning of the year.

HIV Testing and Counselling (HTC) coordinator Getrude Ncube said HTC was a critical entry point to HIV services, particularly facilitating access to prevention services, early diagnosis, as well as treatment and care services.

“The target for people to be tested in 2012 is 1 797 600. Achievement so far is 87 percent of our target for this year,” said Ncube.

Ncube attributed the success to efficiency of Rapid HIV test kits which she said have significantly cut short the period between testing and result collection.

“These kits are able to detect HIV antibody within 5-20 minutes. After pre-test counselling, blood is taken and an individual only waits for 20 minutes to get the results. Therefore, the results are given same day and we do not have people waiting for the results,” she said.

She could not, however, be drawn to pre-empt the status ratio of those tested. Despite concerted efforts in mitigating HIV, resources are still a limiting factor in the implantation of interventions.

Statistics show that out of the estimated figure of 1,3 million infected people in the country, the national Aids response had managed to put about 600 000 people on anti-retroviral treatment.

Nac board chairperson David Mutambara has said the support Zimbabwe has received over years has complemented home grown funding initiatives such as the National Aids Trust Fund (also known as the Aids Levy), but it is still far below what is needed to adequately support the nation’s response.

The private sector is the major contributor to National Aids Trust Fund, contributing 57 percent compared to the public sector which contributes between two and three percent. - Wendy Muperi

Post a comment

Readers are kindly requested to refrain from using abusive, vulgar, racist, tribalistic, sexist, discriminatory and hurtful language when posting their comments on the Daily News website.
Those who transgress this civilised etiquette will be barred from contributing to our online discussions.
- Editor

Your email address will not be shared.