Zimbabwe will share the major inroads it has made in the diagnostic and treatment of HIV/AIDS with the world on the upcoming International Conference on AIDS and STIs in Africa (ICASA), which will be held in Harare from 4 to 9 December this year.
The event comes at a time where Zimbabwe has achieved the 95/95/95 target, where 95% of people living with HIV are aware of their status, and are on treatment. The same population also has its viral load suppressed due to early diagnostics and treatment which is open to everyone in the country.
Speaking to State of the Nation News, the National AIDS Council CEO Dr Bernard Madzima said although incidents of infection have gone down in the general population, there are key populations where the pandemic remains high. So programs are being put in place to make sure that these groups can have access to diagnostics and treatment services.
“In the general population, the incidents of infection have gone down. But we know there are some sub-groups of people who we term ‘key populations’ where the pandemic remains high, as high as 24% in terms of prevalence. So we are targeting those people.
“We have modelled our interventions to target these sub-groups which include sex workers, young girls, men who have sex with men and artisanal miners. So our policies are innovating towards making sure that we have specific programs for these sub-groups for them to have access to services,” said Dr Madzima.
The 22nd edition of the ICASA Conference will run under the theme, address inequalities, accelerate inclusion and innovation. High level speakers and scientists will showcase innovations and researches that have been made to improve the treatment of HIV and STIs.