The health ministry in Zimbabwe says it is upping its game in fighting the HIV/Aids scourge following the country’s successfully hosting of the 18th International Conference on AIDS and STIs in Africa (ICASA).
Senior ministry officials told VOA one of their main goals is to eliminate mother-to-child HIV transmission as has been done by Cuba, among other issues, including working towards reaching the ambitious 90—90—90 treatment target by 2020.
Reaching this target would see 90% of people living with HIV knowing their HIV status, 90% of people who know their HIV-positive status accessing treatment and 90% of people on treatment having suppressed viral loads. This will also reduce new HIV infections by 75%.
Dr. Angela Mushavi is the National PMTCT and Pediatric HIV Care and Treatment Coordinator in the Ministry of Health.
She told VOA prevention is the key word following rich discussions at the just-ended ICASA conference.
“Certainly as always I like to focus on prevention where if you look at children we are really looking at eliminating new HIV infections among children and that means for women who are HIV positive, giving them life-long treatment, first of all for their own health but preventing new HIV infections in children,” Dr. Mushavi said.
She said pediatric anti-retroviral treatment, including for young people and adolescents is lagging behind, adding more resources should be found to up the ministry’s game in dealing with pediatric HIV, among other issues.