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Zimbabwe Health Officials Report Progress on ARV Therapy Enrollment for HIV


The World Health Organization's new guidelines for people living with HIV indicates antiretro viral treatment when CD4 count falls to 350, but in Zimbabwe many patients are only getting ARV therapy at levels under 200

Zimbabwean health authorities say they have have scaled up efforts to fight the spread of HIV/AIDS and treat those infected with the virus or showing symptoms of the disease following the disbursement of US$180 million from the Global Fund to Fight Aids, Tuberculosis and Malaria at the beginning of this year.

Health officials say the country is still battling to put more people on an antiretroviral drug therapy regimen - and at the right time in the development of the disease - but say they are making clear progress.

The World Health Organization's new guidelines for people living with HIV indicates anti-retroviral treatment when CD4 count falls to 350, but in Zimbabwe many patients are only getting ARV therapy at levels under 200.

Health Minister Henry Madzorera told VOA that the inflow of funding has allowed the government and its partners to roll out more programs targeting the work place and rural communities.

Reports from Bulawayo, meanwhile, show that the number of people in the Matabeleland region receiving ARV drug therapy has risen by nearly 12 percent in the past year. But those same reports showed that HIV/AIDS cumulative deaths in the western region have risen by 2.6 percent due to the late commencement of treatment.

The increase in ARV therapy "is encouraging as it shows people are getting to know their status so that they receive treatment early," said Dr. Zanele Hwalima, director of health services.

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