Zimbabwe AIDS Council Drafts New Four-Year Plan To Address HIV/AIDS Epidemic
Zimbabwe's National AIDS Council has drafted a new four-year plan to address the HIV/AIDS epidemic that will be launched soon, Amon Mpofu, NAC evaluation and monitoring manager, said on Sunday, Xinhua/People's Daily reports. Under the plan, the council's programs and activities will focus on such challenges as the increased demand for antiretroviral drugs and food assistance programs. According to Mpofu, 600,000 HIV-positive people in Zimbabwe need treatment. He added that the country's antiretroviral program at the end of 2005 was able to provide treatment for 32,000 people, instead of 60,000 as planned, partly because of the shortage of foreign currency. Mpofu also announced that Zimbabwe's AIDS levy, which aims to raise money for HIV/AIDS programs, has yielded roughly $1.7 million since NAC was created in 1999. Zimbabwe was the first country in southern Africa to implement a levy for HIV/AIDS funding, according to Xinhua/People's Daily (Xinhua/People's Daily, 9/11).
HIV/AIDS Programs Help Reduce Infant Mortality
Efforts to fight HIV/AIDS have reduced Zimbabwe's infant mortality from 102 deaths per 1,000 births in 1999 to 82 deaths per 1,000 births in 2006, the Minister of Health and Child Welfare David Parirenyatwa said on Monday, Xinhua News Agency reports (Xinhua News Agency, 9/11). HIV testing among women before they become pregnant, HIV testing during pregnancy and enrolling HIV-positive pregnant women in programs to prevent mother-to-child HIV transmission have contributed to decreased infant mortality, according to Zimbabwe's Herald. In addition, pediatric antiretroviral treatment now is available in Zimbabwe, the Herald reports (Herald, 9/11).