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HIV/AIDS

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This analytical profile on HIV/AIDS is structured as follows:

Contents

Analytical summary

Zambia is among the countries that are most affected by the HIV and AIDS epidemic in Sub-Saharan Africa. The epidemic is generalized and cuts across gender, age, geographical, and socio-economic status of the population. In view of the foregoing, HIV and AIDS form part of the national health priorities.

Over the past 10 years, the country has intensified the fight against HIV and AIDS, through introduction and scaling of high impact interventions in prevention, treatment and care. The main objective is to halt and begin to reduce the spread of HIV/AIDS and STIs, by increasing access to quality interventions. Both the objective and targets are aligned to the MDGs.

Further, in line with the UNAIDS/WHO “Universal Access” goal, Zambia is on track towards reducing new HIV infections in children by 50% by the end of 2010. The country has also adopted the goal of “ virtual elimination of paediatric HIV transmission by 2010”. In this respect, MOH and its Partners intend to achieve this by reducing the rate of transmission via Mother to Child Transmission (MTCT) to less than 5%, through further scaling up of Prevention of Mother to Child Transmission (PMTCT).


Disease burden

Zambia is among the countries that are most affected by the HIV and AIDS epidemic in Sub-Saharan Africa. The epidemic is generalized and cuts across gender, age, geographical, and socio-economic status of the population. In view of the foregoing, HIV and AIDS form part of the national health priorities.

Recent trends indicate that significant progress is being made in the fight against the epidemic. HIV prevalence in adults aged between 15 and 49 years has dropped from 16.1% in 2002 to 14.3% in 2007 . However, this rate is still considered to be unacceptably high. Prevalence rates also vary between the different gender, age groups, and geographical locations. Prevalence among females is at 16.1%, against 12.3% in males. Urban-rural differentials also exist, with urban areas having a much higher prevalence rate of 20% compared to 10% for rural areas. Knowledge of HIV and AIDS is also high and almost universal. According to the ZDHS 2001, 99% of women and men aged 15-49 years reporting that they have heard about HIV and AIDS. However, the rate of people with comprehensive knowledge about the epidemic is much lower, at 36% for women and 39% for men.


National commitment and action

Over the past 10 years, the country has intensified the fight against HIV and AIDS, through introduction and scaling of high impact interventions in prevention, treatment and care. The main objective is to halt and begin to reduce the spread of HIV/AIDS and STIs, by increasing access to quality interventions. Both the objective and targets are aligned to the MDGs. Further, in line with the UNAIDS/WHO “Universal Access” goal, Zambia is on track towards reducing new HIV infections in children by 50% by the end of 2010. The country has also adopted the goal of “ virtual elimination of paediatric HIV transmission by 2010”. In this respect, MOH and its Partners intend to achieve this by reducing the rate of transmission via Mother to Child Transmission (MTCT) to less than 5%, through further scaling up of Prevention of Mother to Child Transmission (PMTCT).


Programme Areas

Major achievements have been scored in prevention, treatment and care. Key interventions include scaling up of Counseling and Testing (C&T), ABC activities, Prevention of Mother to Child Transmission (PMTCT) of HIV, blood safety, access to free Anti-Retroviral Therapy (ART) and care, and public awareness and education. PMTCT centers were increased from 936 in 2009 to 1,100 in 2010, spread across the country, the number of clients accessing ART increased from 156,299 in 2007 to 219,576 in 2008, an increase of 28%.

Antiretroviral therapy

Although HIV prevalence and the rate of new HIV infections have been slowing down, the number of People Living with HIV (PLHIV) has continued to increase, partly due to the increase in population size and the scaling up of access to free ART, leading to more infected people living longer. Currently, over 900,000 Zambians are living with HIV and over 250,000 are receiving ART.

Co-management of tuberculosis and HIV treatment

The Tuberculosis(TB)/HIV co-infection rate is high, estimated at 70%. In this regard, HIV/TB collaborative activities are being implemented in all the provinces and districts of Zambia. The rate of HIV testing for TB patients increased from 23% in 2006 to 72% in 2009, while the proportion of HIV positive TB patients receiving cotrimoxazole, and ART increased from 30% and 37% in 2006 to 63% and 42% in 2009, respectively. Due to improved care and treatment of both TB and TB/HIV infected patients, deaths have reduced over the past five years to less than 5,000 per annum.


Knowledge and behaviour

State of surveillance

Endnotes: sources, methods, abbreviations, etc.