Dodoma — TANZANIA is on the right track to achieve the 2030 goals of controlling new infections and deaths from HIV/AIDS.
Addressing the media on Wednesday towards the World AIDS Day to be celebrated at national level in Lindi Region on December 1, 2022, the Tanzania Commission for AIDS (TACAIDS) Executive Director, Dr Leonard Maboko said that rate of new infections decreased from 110,000 people in 2016/17 to 54,000 in 2021.
Interventions to curb HIV/AIDS related deaths have apparently yielded positive results as they have halved the number of deaths from 64,000 in 2016/17 to 29,000 deaths in 2021.
Dr Maboko attributed the success to various interventions implemented by the government and other health sector stakeholders, including raising public awareness and testing.
He said Tanzanians are increasingly sensitised to test and know their HIV status, and those who are found to be infected get the treatment.
"The fall in HIV/AIDS related deaths and new infections is a result of ongoing efforts to raise public awareness about the virus and the increased use of Antiretroviral (ARV) drugs," he said.
However, he said, since the targets have not been reached yet, efforts are still needed to facilitate the realisation of those goals among them, zero new infection come 2030.
"We need to strike a balance now, despite the fact that the rate of new infections are on decrease, infections among youth aged 15 to 24 is on the increase," he said
Earlier, the Minister of State in the Prime Minister's Office (Policy, Coordination and Parliamentary Affairs), Mr George Simbachawene said this year's celebration will be preceded by exhibitions at the Ilula grounds from November 24 to December 1, 2022.
In order to reach many youth they will have a setup of special booths for young people for more awareness.
The celebration will be accompanied by a scientific conference, exhibitions of various activities, and disease testing.
"National stakeholders under the coordination of TACAIDS are continuing with all the necessary preparations to provide the necessary services for the celebration, including providing education," he said.
The Manager of the National AIDS Control Programme (NACP), Dr Anath Rwebembera said Tanzania is estimated to have 1.75 million people living with HIV/AIDS, but of those 1.5 million people have been reached by these services and are in treatment and care services.
"There are 200,000 people who have not been reached by those services. Therefore, we continue to mobilise, education and services should be provided to the 200,000 who have not been reached, because in reaching them, we have ensured that we have been able to reduce HIV infection," said Dr Rwebembera