Zanzibar Deputy Chief Minister Calls on Residents To Increase Efforts To Fight HIV/AIDS
Zanzibar Deputy Chief Minister Ali Juma Shamuhuna on Tuesday at a workshop on the evaluation of the archipelago's HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment programs called on residents to increase their efforts to fight the disease, Xinhua News Agency reports.
Zanzibar, which has a population of one million people, has an HIV prevalence of 0.6%, and about 180 new HIV cases are diagnosed annually on the archipelago, according to a study conducted recently by the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare. In 2005, 729 people of the 13,817 who received HIV tests were found to be HIV-positive -- up from 634 people who tested positive out of 13,577 residents who received tests in 2004.
Shamuhuna said efforts to bolster Zanzibar's economy could be hindered if the spread of HIV/AIDS is not reduced. If the virus continues to spread, it could lead to a reduction in the archipelago's work force, he added. Shamuhuna urged the Health Ministry to concentrate HIV prevention and treatment efforts on rural villages and areas that are visited heavily by tourists (Xinhua News Agency, 10/16).