UNFPA HIV/AIDS Prevention Efforts in Zambia Target Mostly Women, Young People
The U.N. Population Fund so far this year has invested $659,798 on HIV/AIDS prevention efforts in Zambia and plans to spend an additional $100,000 by the end of 2005, Deji Popoola, the agency's country representative, said on Monday during a press briefing, the Times of Zambia reports. Popoola said most of UNFPA's prevention efforts target women and young people with low socio-economic status (Times of Zambia, 10/31). According to Popoola, HIV/AIDS has led to an increase in the number of pregnancy-related deaths in Zambia because the disease lowers the immunity of pregnant women, making them more susceptible to infections, Xinhuanet reports. Pregnancy-related complications cause the deaths of 729 of every 100,000 women who give birth, and 30% to 40% of those deaths are associated with HIV/AIDS-related illnesses, Popoola said. In addition, he said it is critical for pregnant women to undergo HIV counseling and testing, and he urged women to learn their HIV status before conceiving. UNFPA also is helping to train nurses and midwives (Xinhuanet, 11/2). The agency has provided the country with 47 million male condoms, valued at $3 million, and 65,000 female condoms, Popoola said. He added that at 38%, the rate of condom use in Zambia is still lower than in other countries in the region (Times of Zambia, 10/31). About 16% of the country's 1.1 million residents are estimated to be HIV-positive (Xinhuanet, 11/2).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.