BULAWAYO Province has recorded the least number of Aids-related deaths in Zimbabwe as the country continues to aim at reaching global targets of ending Aids by 2030, latest statistics from the National Aids Council (NAC) show.
According to NAC, Bulawayo recorded 1 175 Aids-related deaths in 2018 with highest being reported in Harare at 3 856 followed by Midlands at 2 958. Matabeleland North and Mashonaland Central also recorded 1 364 and 1 602 deaths.
“Aids-related deaths have been on the decrease since 2005 and at the moment provincial statistics show that Bulawayo has the least deaths at 1 175, followed by Matabeleland North, Mashonaland Central and Matabeleland South,” reads the NAC HIV and Aids Situation Analysis.
“The top four provinces include Harare at 3 856, Midlands at 2 958, Manicaland 2 410 and Mashonaland East at 2 345.”
The report shows that although Bulawayo recorded the least number of deaths, the province still had the third highest HIV prevalence rate in the country after Matabeleland South and Matabeleland North provinces.
“In terms of reaching the 2020 90-90-90 global Aids targets, we have achieved the first goal of ensuring that 90 percent of people know their status. We are currently at 91 percent and on the second goal which is to ensure that at least 90 percent of infected people are on antiretroviral treatment we are at 83 percent. We are also working on the third 90 which is to ensure that 90 percent of those on treatment achieve viral suppression and we are at 77 percent,” says the document.
Zimbabwe recorded a decrease in newHIV infections from 44 000 to 38 000 cases annually, a development which the UNAIDS 2019 report projects may lead to a decline in prevalence.
According to a report released recently, 28 percent of prisoners in Zimbabwe are HIV positive though the country does not have data on how many of the prisoners are accessing anti-retroviral therapy or HIV prevention methods like condoms and pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP).
“The number of new HIV infections in Zimbabwe has gone down to 38 000 from 45 000 in 2015. Just like in many HIV heavily-burdened countries, Zimbabwe had also managed to halve the number of Aids-related deaths from 54 000 in 2010 to 22 000 in 2018,” the UNAIDS report reads.