The Sub Sahara region continues to battle with the HIV and AIDS pandemic as the most affected region in the world. Zimbabwe had an estimated prevalence of HIV pegged at 13.6% in 2010. By the end of 2009, approximately 1,1 million people in the country were living with HIV and AIDS. Although the estimated annual AIDS deaths decreased from 123,000 in 2006 to 84,000 at the end of 2009, AIDS remains a leading cause of death in Zimbabwe. The dual epidemic of TB and HIV also continues to be a major factor in morbidity and mortality among PLHIV, especially in sub-Saharan Africa, undermining efforts to prevent and control HIV. In Zimbabwe and it is estimated that approximately 80% of TB cases are co-infected with HIV. It is estimated that 25% of all children in Zimbabwe are orphaned due to AIDS
The country has set a comprehensive treatment, care and support programme in order to mitigate the effects of the HIV and AIDS pandemic. The treatment, care and support programme focus on provision of comprehensive services that address the medical, social and emotional needs of PLHIV. The objectives of the programme are to:
- Reduce HIV related morbidity and mortality
- Improve the survival of PLHIV
- Improve the quality of life of PLHIV
The treatment package is made up of the following programmes:
- Comprehensive HIV testing and counselling, including diagnostic testing and counselling; client initiated counselling and testing (CICT) and provider initiated testing and counselling (PITC);
- Provision of quality health care in health institutions, in the community and in the homes.
- Psychosocial support for infected persons and their families
- Prevention, diagnosis and treatment of opportunistic infections and HIV-associated malignancies
- Prevention, care and management of TB/HIV co-infection
- Prophylaxis for preventable infections in HIV-infected persons
- Nutritional care and support
- Antiretroviral therapy (ART)
- STI control and prevention and family planning services
- Post exposure prophylaxis (PEP) for occupational exposure to HIV and post exposure prophylaxis for occupational exposure and victims of rape
- Mitigating the impact of HIV infection through legal instruments against stigma and discrimination; and encouraging developing community efforts that reduce the impact of HIV infection
- Implementing interventions for mitigating against the socio-economic and psychological impact of HIV on individuals, families, communities and society at large.
For more information on the treatment, care and support programme refer to the attached programme documents below.