HIV prevalence drops slightly in Bukoba MC

KAGERA: THE rate of HIV prevalence in Bukoba Municipal has dropped slightly from 1.6 per cent to 1.4 per cent between October and December 2023.

Bukoba Municipal Deputy Mayor, Ms Mwajabu Galiatano, explained that the achievement was due to joint efforts and continuous education among stakeholders.

“We are happy to announce that the rate of HIV/AIDS prevalence in Bukoba Municipal has dropped slightly from 1.6 per cent to 1.4 per cent between October and December 2023.

The drop was due to joint efforts and continuous education among stakeholders,” she said.

Elaborating, she said during the International AIDS Day celebrated on December 1, last year about 8,133 people turned up for voluntary screening, while 117 people were found HIV positive, equivalent to 1.4 per cent.

However, she appealed to residents to continue taking precautions against the disease including avoiding unprotected sexual behaviour. Prime Minister Kassim Majaliwa announced on December 1, 2023, the first results from the 2022-2023 Tanzania HIV Impact Survey which shows that Tanzania has made substantial progress toward controlling the HIV epidemic.

“The 2022-2023 survey found the percentage of people living with HIV, known as HIV prevalence, is 4.4 per cent among people aged 15 years and older (4.5 per cent in Mainland Tanzania and 0.4 per cent in Zanzibar), and varies by residence (5.0 per cent in urban areas and 4.0 per cent in rural areas) and gender (5.6 per cent in women and 3.0 per cent in males).

The national HIV prevalence estimate translates to approximately 1.5 million people aged 15 years and older living with HIV in Tanzania,” he was quoted as saying. The survey also showed new HIV infections continue to decline in Tanzania, from an estimate of 72,000 annually in THIS 2016-2017 to 60,000 annually in the current survey, Mr Majaliwa said while launching the THIS 2022-2023 first results.

The UNAIDS 95-95-95 targets for 2025 call for 95 percent of all people living with HIV to be aware of their HIV status, 95 per cent of those aware of their status to be on antiretroviral treatment (ART), and 95 per cent of those on ART to achieve viral load suppression.

The survey estimated that among people aged 15 years and older living with HIV in Tanzania, 83 per cent are aware of their status, 98 per cent of those aware of their HIV status are on ART, and 94 per cent of those on ART are virally suppressed.

Tanzania has made remarkable gains since THIS 2016-2017, in which achievement toward UNAIDS 95-95-95 targets was measured to be 61 per cent, 94 per cent, and 87 per cent, respectively.

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