HIV/Aids campaign gets cash dole-out

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NATIONAL efforts to combat HIV/Aids – through scale-up treatment aimed at complete elimination in 2030 -- has received a financial boost from the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) totalling some $526 million (1.177trl/- ).

According to a statement from the US Embassy in Dar es Salaam, the support will bring to 1.2 million people, the total number of Tanzanians on HIV treatment.

“The funds will support the activities under the PEPFAR Country Operational Plan from October 2017 to September 2018, and represent a 12.3 per cent increase over last year’s budget,” the statement read in part.

Under the renewed plan, PEPFAR will work with the Government of Tanzania and implementing partners to provide HIV testing to 8.6 million Tanzanians and provide treatment to 360,000 people who newly test positive.

The budget includes special allocations for the care and treatment of orphans and vulnerable children and, to further prevent HIV transmission, PEPFAR will support voluntary medical male circumcision (VMMC) for 890,000 men, according to the statement.

“This plan continues the US longstanding partnership with Tanzania in the health sector, including a decade of collaboration to successfully curb HIV transmission and work towards an AIDS-Free Generation,” the statement further noted.

Commenting on the approved plan, Chargé d’Affaires Virginia Blaser said: “On behalf of the American people, we are extremely pleased to continue our support for and partnership with the Tanzanian people.

Together, we are working to achieve an AIDS-Free Generation in Tanzania – one in which no one is left behind.” PEPFAR’s partners and stakeholders in the development and implementation of this plan include the Ministry of Health, Community Development, Gender, Elderly and Children, the Tanzanian Commission for AIDS (TACAIDS) and the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS).

Others are the Global Fund to Fight Tuberculosis, AIDS, and Malaria (GFTAM), the World Health Organization (WHO), the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the Benjamin Mkapa HIV/AIDS Foundation (BMAF), and the National Network of Tanzanian Women with HIV/AIDS (NETWO+).

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