By Michael Gwarisa
FUNDING towards HIV prevention programs is insignificant as more resources are being channeled towards HIV treatment, a top National Aids Council (NAC) official has said.
In an interview with HealthTimes news, NAC director operations Raymond Yekeye said funding HIV prevention was currently on the low and called on stakeholders to consider scaling up financing of prevention initiatives.
“Currently, the country has limited funding for HIV prevention as the majority of the resources are being channeled towards treatment in order to ensure we keep those already on ART on the life long medication,” said Yekeye.
According to the Resource Tracking for HIV prevention R&D working groups (RTWG) 12th annual report, funding towards HIV prevention decreased from US$1,25 bullion in 2014 to US$1,20 billion in 2015 across all eight key preventive areas namely, preventive AIDS vaccines, microbides, PrEP using Anti Ritro Viral (ARVs) drugs, TaSP, HSV-2 vaccines and operations research related to voluntary medical male circumcision, female condoms and preventive vertical transmission.
Meanwhile, NAC applauded the United States government (USG) for maintaining HIV funding for Zimbabwe.
“The contribution of the USG to the national response has always been important as it has significantly helped the country to achieve the current status. The support is part of the support to the national response by various other partners including the Global Fund as well as the AIDS Levy.
“From all partners we received US$1 billion over the past five years in this case, we received about $200 million from the USG and from the HIV AIDS Levy about $150 million and about $600 million from the global fund,” said Yekere.
The national response require approximately $200 million a year for NAC to adequately fund all programmes to scale.
Yekeye added that contributions to the AIDS levy had remained stable despite the high informalisation of the economy and the prevailing liquidity crunch.
“The AIDS Levy has remained stable despite the highly informalised nature of our economy as the collections have remained within the projected budgets.
“Currently there is no independent fund to support TB but part of the AIDS Levy as well as USG support is dedicated to supporting the TB programmes.”