USAID provides US$78m for critical HIV healthcare services

06 Nov, 2020 - 00:11 0 Views
USAID provides US$78m for critical HIV healthcare services

The Chronicle

Thandeka Moyo-Ndlovu, Health Reporter
ZIMBABWE has received US$78 million from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) to provide critical HIV healthcare services to 1,4 million people living with the virus.

The country has one of the highest HIV prevalence rates in the region at 12,8 percent and recorded 40 000 new infections in 2019.

According to UNAIDS, of the total infected people in Zimbabwe, about 85 percent are on antiretroviral therapy (ART) and there are efforts to ensure that at least the coverage rate reaches 95 percent.

The country is also working towards the global HIV targets of ending Aids by 2030 and ensuring that 90 percent of infected people achieve viral load suppression.

In a statement, US Ambassador Brian Nichols said the donation will fund two projects in the country which will also see sex workers accessing Pre-Exposure prophylaxis which has been proven to reduce the risk of HIV transmissions.

Recent studies have shown that there are about 45 000 sex workers in Zimbabwe and 45 percent of them are HIV-positive.

“The United States President’s Emergency Plan for Aids Relief (Pepfar) through the US Agency for International Development (USAID) has launched two projects worth a combined US$78 million to provide critical HIV healthcare services for over half-a-million Zimbabweans,” he said.

“Pepfar’s efforts to fight HIV will ultimately help Zimbabwe meet critical Aids treatment targets. Our support breaks barriers and closes remaining gaps in sustaining and accelerating HIV prevention and care,” said Ambassador Nichols. — @thamamoe

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