Zanzibar Officials Call for Targeted Response To Combat Spread of HIV
A targeted response is needed to combat the spread of HIV in Zanzibar, Chief Minister Shamsi Nahodha said at the recent launch of an HIV/AIDS awareness campaign targeting young people on the island, PlusNews reports. According to government statistics, HIV prevalence on Zanzibar has increased from 0.6% in 2002 to 0.9% in 2006. "This is a shocking figure in such a small population," Nahodha said, adding, "Unfortunately, the most affected group is youths aged between 20 and 49 years." According to Nahodha, most workshops and seminars about HIV/AIDS in Zanzibar occur in urban areas and target political leaders rather than the youth and the island's general population. "It seems the ongoing strategies to control the spread of HIV have not been productive. [W]e need to review our strategies," Nahodha said. Asha Abdalla, director of the Zanzibar AIDS Commission, said that the government statistics were based on prenatal records and that the commission is planning to conduct a study later this year to determine HIV prevalence in the general population. USAID, Family Health International and the Zanzibar government are supporting the five-year campaign, which will be coordinated by Africare (PlusNews, 2/13).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.