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HIV/AIDS prevalence and incident rates drop

ZIMBABWE continues to register a decline in both HIV and AIDS prevalence and incident rates, the Bulawayo City Council’s department of Health Services has reported.

According to the recent council report, the trend is attributed to the immense contributions by different stakeholders in the national response to HIV and AIDS.

Voluntary Male Medical Circumcision (VMMC) was noted was one of the major as a key component of HIV prevention in the country.

“Zimbabwe took a further step in consolidating these gains by introducing VMMC as another HIV prevention intervention to complement already existing interventions,” read the report

BCC said since the VMMC programme inception in 2009, the country has continued to scale up this intervention in all provinces towards a target of 1.3 million by 2018.

The national annual target for 2017 was 322 436 male circumcisions. The Bulawayo target by 2017 since inception was 88 760 and by December 2016, more than 80 000 of the overall target had since been circumcised.

The city council also acknowledged the intervention of the Ministry of Health and Child Care in promoting campaigns so as to reach the targets.

“In an effort to boost the number of males to be circumcised so as to reach the national target, Ministry of Health and Child Care and partners continued to conduct national campaigns on VMMC.”

This year’s campaign was from 20 March 2017 to 29 April 2017 with the City of Bulawayo campaign targeting 1 524 males.

“VMMC in Bulawayo would be offered in some of the city clinics, Lobengula and Bulawayo VMMC sites.”

“Social mobilisation on VMMC would be done by various stakeholders throughout the city. An HIV free generation was possible and male circumcision was one of the important pieces towards the goal.”

Besides VMMC other key interventions include prevention of mother-to-child-transmission and medical transmission of HIV, counselling and testing,and care and treatment such as antiretroviral therapy, opportunistic infections, palliative care.

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