Tanzania: 'We're Firm On New Anti-HIV Strategy' - Govt

Dar es Salaam — The government yesterday reiterated it was implementing the newly launched Strategic Plan IV to combat new HIV/Aids infections by 2030, urging more Tanzanian men to voluntarily get tested for the disease.

This was said by Health Minister Ummy Mwalimu when she was addressing participants during the ceremony to celebrate the 15-year anniversary of the two governments in combating HIV, which was organised by the US Embassy in Tanzania in Dar es Salaam on Wednesday.

"We have come up with a HIV self-testing method using saliva as one of the strategic plans. The devices will be available at all health facilities free of charge," she said.

"We will also track down men and make sure they are getting tested for HIV willingly," she said. The minister also revealed that the government received Sh1 trillion from the US government through the US President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) for combating HIV.

According to Health Minister, AIDS related deaths in the country decreased by 70 percent, from 110, 000 in 2003 to 33,000 in 2016.

While at least Sh5 billion has been allocated by the government to vindicate its commitment in combating the disease for 2018, revealed Prime Minister Kassim Majaliwa yesterday while addressing participants at same occasion.

"Let me take this opportunity to thank the US government for its continued support to Tanzanian government in combating HIV/AIDS," he said.

He further called on relevant government authorities and stakeholders to enhance interventions to ensure sustainable HIV epidemic control.

For her part, the US Acting Ambassador to Tanzania Dr Inmi Patterson stated "During this campaign, we will work with you all and with people living with HIV across the country. I encourage Tanzanians to get tested and learn their health status," she said.

The US government currently provides more than 80 per cent of all funding for HIV programmes in Tanzania in which through PEPFAR, the it has spent about Sh9 trillion.

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