About 7% of Adult Tanzanians HIV-Positive, New Survey Shows
About 7% of the adult population in Tanzania is HIV-positive, according to survey results released on Friday by the Tanzania Commission for AIDS, the IPP Media/Guardian reports. The report, titled "2003-2004 Tanzania HIV/AIDS Indicator Survey," was intended to measure regional and national HIV/AIDS prevalence rates and to collect information on sick HIV/AIDS patients. The survey consisted of interviews and HIV testing on more than 13,350 men and women ages 15 to 45 from 21 mainland regions of the country (Mkinga, IPP Media/Guardian, 4/9). According to the report, 7.7% of women and about 6.3% of men are HIV-positive in Tanzania. Among Tanzanians ages 15 to 19, HIV prevalence rates are similar at about 2%, according to the survey. However, among older populations, HIV prevalence "rises steadily" among Tanzanian women, peaking at about 13% for women ages 30 to 34, the report says (Nyambura, Reuters, 4/8). The survey found that urban areas have almost twice the prevalence as rural areas. Among wealthy and well-educated people in the country, alcohol and multiple sexual partners largely are responsible for HIV transmission, according to Xinhua/AngolaPress. The survey also found that nearly all Tanzanians were better educated on how HIV is transmitted and can be prevented than they were five years ago (Xinhua/AngolaPress, 4/9). However, many pregnant women were unaware that antiretroviral drugs could reduce the risk of mother-to-child HIV transmission. The report also found that more people practice safe sex compared to five years ago (Reuters, 4/8). Tanzania has about two million HIV-positive people, and about 140,000 people die of AIDS-related causes each year (Xinhua/AngolaPress, 4/9).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.