Zimbabwe: National 2020 HIV/Aids Targets Achieved

Senior Reporter

Zimbabwe has completed its National Strategic Plan for 2021-2025 focusing on investment in health and social protection, President Mnangagwa has said.

President Mnangagwa said this yesterday while addressing a high level virtual United Nations General Assembly meeting on HIV and Aids that begun yesterday.

The meeting was convened by the UN General Assembly president, Mr Volkan Bozkir, to take stock of the progress made in the global fight against the HIV/Aids epidemic.

"To this end, Zimbabwe has finalised its own National Strategic Plan for 2021-2025, which focuses on investment in areas such as health and social protection among others, whilst protecting the gains achieved so far.

"I am pleased to highlight that Zimbabwe achieved the 2020 targets of ensuring that 90 percent of people living with HIV know their status, 90 percent of those who know their status are on antiretroviral therapy and 90 percent of those on antiretroviral therapy are virally suppressed," he said.

The President said the HIV/Aids epidemic had negatively impacted global economies, livelihoods of communities and individual households alike.

Together with Covid-19, the two challenges gave reason to strengthen multilateralism, solidarity and cooperation, he said.

He added that in the march towards ending HIV/Aids by 2030, bold ambitions and achievable global targets must be implemented with the requisite funding.

The President said Zimbabwe had recorded a 44 percent decline in new infections between 2010 and 2019 and expressed gratitude to development partners, the Global Fund and other stakeholders who continue to support Zimbabwe's programmes.

"We call for the re-doubling of efforts in the face of the Covid-19 pandemic and urge partners to continue providing sufficient funding specifically to low and middle-income countries," he said.

He expressed hope that the ambitious and bold new goals espoused by the Political Declaration that would be adopted at the end of the meeting would guide and serve as a reference in the fight against Aids.

"I therefore call upon the international community to recommit to multilateralism, being mindful of the reality laid bare by the Covid-19 pandemic," he said.

Over the years, Zimbabwe has made significant gains in curbing the HIV and Aids pandemic, with the prevalence rate around 11 percent from a high of around 25 percent.

In August 2019, the United Nations commended Zimbabwe for making great strides towards elimination of stigma and provision of quality treatment towards people living with HIV and Aids.

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