Zimbabwe will carry out a national household based survey to assess the disease burden of HIV and evaluate impact of multi stakeholder interventions, health officials have said.
The Zimbabwe Population-based HIV Impact Assessment (ZIMPHIA) national survey led by the Ministry of Health and Child Care in collaboration with Zimbabwe National Statistics Agency (ZIMSTAT) is a continuation of the 2015-16 survey.
Speaking at a sensitization workshop organized by the National Aids Council (NAC), implementing partner ICAP of Columbia University said the survey was integral in providing empirical and dis-aggregated national data on the disease burden of HIV.
ZIMPHIA 2020 director from Columbia University, Dr Munyaradzi Mapingura said the survey will reflect on interventions by the government and other multi stakeholders in the fight against the epidemic.
He said the survey will not only provide a national picture, but dis-aggregated sub-national statistics to assist decision and policy makers to come up with interventions.
"We need a large nationally representative household based survey, to provide an understanding of the HIV and AIDS diseases burden at national and sub-national levels and this is what the study provides.
"The ZIMPHIA survey provides empirical data to policy makers who then make interventions based on those findings, at this juncture our task is to give evidence of what the HIV status is by province.
"When we collect this data we will be able to tell for example in Manicaland what the status of the epidemic is, the survey will lay bare the evidence on the ground," said Dr Mapingura.
He added, "It's targeting a representative sample of 22, 886 adults between 15 and 65, while other activities relating to the survey have already started. The survey will start from 11 November to the end of March 2020."
Manicaland Provincial Medical Director Dr Pat Mafaune, represented by an official from the ministry said ZIMPHIA will provide an opportunity to assess variations from the 2015-16 survey which indicated 200 000 people were living with HIV in Manicaland.
Dr Mafaune said the survey will also reveal how the province has been faring in addressing prevalence of mother to child transmissions, a key indicator of HIV and AIDS.
"In Manicaland we have 200 000 people living with HIV from a previous 2015-16 survey, we are looking forward to the survey because it will show us where we stand.
"This translates to a prevalence rate of 11.4 percent and it is our hope that the statistics will indicate the effort the province has put to reduce the epidemic through multi stakeholder partnerships.
"We have made great strides to achieve a generation free of HIV, we are working towards abolishing mother to child transmission of HIV as one of the key indicators," said Dr Mafaune.
ZIMPHIA 2020 is funded by the U.S. President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), with technical assistance from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
The initial 2015-16 survey results showed significant progress towards reaching the UNAIDS 90-90-90 targets by 2020 and the global target to end AIDS by 2030. It indicated that 77 percent of people living with HIV knew their status, 87 percent of those people were on treatment, and 85 percent of those people on treatment were virally suppressed.