CHINHOYI: THE HIV/AIDS field is very dynamic with frequent and rapidly changing developments and episodes that affect people’s lives, a senior National Aids Council (NAC) official has said.
Addressing News Editors recently in Chinhoyi, Mrs Beatrice Tonhodzayi-Ngondo, NAC board vice chairperson said the dynamic nature of HIV?AIDS area necessitated National Aids Council (NAC) to interact with producers of news and information at various levels so that developments are shared to ensure that the nation is adequately informed.
She said that the response is geared towards ending AIDS by 2030.
The vision 2030 include new goals, targets and commitments of the 2016 United Nations General Assembly Political Declaration on Ending AIDS. Countries agreed to a historic and urgent agenda to accelerate efforts towards ending the AIDS epidemic by 2030. The Political Declaration provides a global mandate to Fast-Track the AIDS response over the next five years.
The NZC board Chairperson said there are a lot of targets that NAC seeks to achieve , chief among them being the need for 90% of people living with HIV to know their status, 90% of people living with HIV to be on treatment and 90% of people on treatment to have their viral load suppressed by 2020.
“In pursuit of these targets, NAC has invested heavily in systems, structures and facilities to ensure that we meet the said targets. You may be aware that 50% of our income is set aside and invested in procurement and support of the national treatment programme. The input and roles of different partners in pursuit of these targets have been critical,” said Mrs Tonhodzayi-Ngondo.
She added that the nation has also heavily invested in HIV prevention, a move which has compelled a decline of both incidence and prevalence over the years. In order to sustain and ensure that the country achieves the 2030 agenda AIDS, there is need to close the tap of new infections guided by the HIV Prevention Revitalization Roadmap.
“As such, we are targeting to reduce new infection among adolescents and adults by 50% from 48 774 in 2014 to 24 387 by end of 2018. Among infants, we are targeting to reduce new infections by 90% from 7400 in 2014 to 6800 by 2018. In this regard, our strategies include scaling up of high impact programmes targeting all people but with a bias towards key populations, women and girls, young men as well as geographical zones with high risk of transmission,” said Mrs Tonhodzayi-Ngondo.
In support of these programmes at community level, the National Aids Council is already investing at least $5 million a year towards HIV prevention.
“It is our belief as National Aids Council that media must have access to such information for them to adequately inform the nation. We must leave no one behind in our efforts to achieve the SDGs and end AIDS by 2030,” said Mrs Tonhodzayi-Ngondo.