1 300 AIDS deaths a week

HARARE - The United Nations Programme on Aids (UNAIDS) says an average of 1 300 people in Zimbabwe die of HIV opportunistic diseases weekly.

The UNAIDS Partnerships Adviser in Zimbabwe, Gloria Bille said the countrys prevalence rate stands at 13,7 per cent among the sexually active populations who range in age from 15 to 49. The estimated of number of new HIV infections in adults (15-49) peaked in 1992 to 234 999, but declined to 62 883 in 2008. Last year, the new adult infections increased to 66 156.

There are about 1 300 people dying of AIDS related diseases per week in Zimbabwe, which is a major threat to public health and economic development, she said. However, she said only 215 000 people were on antiretroviral treatment out of the estimated 450 000 who need it. We have about 158 798 children in Zimbabwe who are infected with HIV and Aids, while about 39 809 children die per year from Aids related ailments. The country has 989 000 orphans due to AIDS, Bille said. She said the prevalence rate among women was higher compared to men.

The prevalence among women is 21,1 per cent while among men it is 14,5 per cent. According to official statistics, Matabeleland South province has the highest number of cases and constitutes 21,6 per cent of the total national HIV and Aids statistics, a development that was largely attributed to the high level of mobility among cross-border traders, sex workers and truck drivers passing through Beitbridge Border Post, the busiest inland port of entry in Sub-Saharan Africa. Harare has the lowest number of cases. The metropolitan provinces prevalence rate stands at 12,2 per cent.

Post published in: Politics

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