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Disclosure, adherence to treatment key towards eliminating HIV/AIDS by 2030

Story by Thembinkosi Mangena

ZIMBABWE is on course to end the HIV and AIDS epidemic as a public health threat by 2030.

Mr Piason Maringwa was diagnosed with HIV in 1999 and his life has since then been of hope and defying the odds.

The turning point in his life was when he accepted his fate and gathered the courage to disclose his status to his wife, Sarudzai.

“I was admitted with TB back in 1999 and that is when I later tested positive for HIV. It was difficult to tell my wife but I was faced with a do-or-die situation, so I had to be brave and tell her because I felt it was going to be unfair not to do so. Unfortunately, one of our children born in 1994 was found to be positive,” said Mr Maringwa.

Adherence to medication and medical advice has been the key to leading a normal life for the couple.

“We had to accept our fate and we are taking our medication religiously. Our girl child was diagnosed and we are happy that she is married with two children who are not positive,” said Mrs Maringwa.

Such testimonies speak to the strides the government and its various stakeholders have made towards ending the HIV and AIDS epidemic as a public health threat by 2030.

“Zimbabwe as a country has adopted the UNAIDS theme: Ending AIDS by 2030. This is realistic considering that we have already achieved the 95-95-95 targets for 2025. We are now geared towards making sure that by 2030, we have zero new infections but we will be having people living with HIV,” said the National AIDS Council’s chief executive officer, Dr Bernard Madzima.

The HIV prevalence rate stands at around 11 percent in Zimbabwe and the government is focusing on scaling up existing prevention and treatment programmes, targeting communities that are vulnerable to new infections, including commercial sex workers.

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