ZIMBABWE’S community based organisation, Africaid, in collaboration with Population Services International (PSI) and the ministry of health and child care (MoHCC), this week trained at least 104 Community Adolescent Treatment Supporters (CATS) on the use and appreciation of HIV self testing kits in Manicaland province.
Through their Facebook page, Africaid said they were working with partners to take HIV self testing to the grassroots and through index case finding.
“This week, we’re training 104 Community Adolescent Treatment Supporters in Manicaland Province together with Ministry of Health and Child Care and Population Services International on HIV Self-Testing.
“USAID Zimbabwe procured 13, 000 HIV self-test kits which will be distributed by 300 CATS to adolescents and young people ages 16-24 years in Zimbabwe’s 11 districts through index case finding. HIV self-testing is the process whereby an individual collects a sample, performs the test and interprets the test results on their own or in the presence of a trusted cadre like CATS,” said Africaid.
It has been noted that adolescents worldwide have fallen behind in terms of HIV response initiatives worldwide and even though HIV-related deaths are the decline in general, HIV related mortality has increased in the adolescent population.
According to the Ministry of Health and Child Care, in 2015, the estimated total number of people in need of ante retro viral treatment (ART) was estimated at 1,400,000 with 77, 000 being children (0-14 years) and 69, 000 adolescents (10-19 years). By the end of 2015, 61 percent of adults (above 15 years) living with HIV were on treatment and 80 percent of all children living with HIV were on ART.