The Herald (Harare)

6 September 2011

Zimbabwe: Second National HIV/Aids Strategic Plan Complete

ZIMBABWE has completed the development of a second national HIV/Aids strategic plan for 2011 to 2015 which is designed to reduce the percentage of HIV infected infants born to HIV-positive mothers, an official has said.

Speaking at the National HIV/Aids conference yesterday, Ministry of Health and Child Welfare principal director Preventive Services Dr Gibson Mhlanga said the new ZNASP is result-based and envisions a nation in which there is zero new infections, zero discrimination and zero Aids-related deaths.

"The new ZNASP is geared towards achieving the visions through reduction of HIV transmission, reduction of HIV-related morbidity and mortality, and ensuring the implementation of human right and gender equality approaches in the context of the HIV response," he said.

Dr Mhlanga said, "The ZNASP 2 is designed to reduce the HIV and Aids estimated incidence percentage from 0, 85 in 2009 to 0, and 43 in 2015 and HIV infected infants born to HIV-positive mothers reduced from 30 percent in 2009 to less than five percent by 2015."

He said the outgoing policy had been effective in reducing both the HIV prevalence and incidence.

"The first HIV and AIDS policy (1999) and its attendant National Strategic Framework expired at the end of 2004.

"It was quite evident that the outgoing policy regime had been effective in reducing both HIV prevalence and incidence and had established a firm foundation for management of the national response and thus in 2005, Zimbabwe embarked on developing a new policy environment resulting in the new Zimbabwe national HIV and AIDS strategic plan (2006-2010) and it sought to create a sense of emergency towards the HIV and AIDS pandemic," he said.

Dr Mhlanga said adequate funding; strengthening of multi-sectoral approach and sound coordination and management are some of the critical factors for the success of the national response to HIV and AIDS.

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