THERE are currently about 200 000 people living with HIV in Harare who are receiving Antiretroviral Treatment with the prevalence rate pegged at 12 percent.
By Kudakwashe Pembere in Kadoma
This according to National Aids Council Harare Provincial Manager Mr Adonijah Muzondiona was on the back of a big population in the city. He said this on the sidelines of a UNAIDS Zimbabwe, Zimbabwe Aids Network, and National Aids Council of ZImbabwe workshop here in Kadoma.
“The Harare Metropolitan Province has about four to five million. We have Harare, Chitungwiza, Epworth and Ruwa. We have some other feeder towns like Norton, Marondera, Bindura, Beatrice, even Chegutu,” he said explaining that, “You will find that some people come to Harare for business, some even work in Harare and during the night they go back. Harare in terms of having that population interms of HIV and AIDS, we have over 200 000 people who are on ART. These are the people reciving antiretroviral therapy everyday. These include adults and children.”
Of the 200 000 the number of children is about 10 000 to 12 000, according to the NAC official.
“So majority of them are adults. Our major hospitals are Harare Hospital, Parirenyatwa Hospital, these are referral hospitals. We also have Chitungwiza Central Hospital, we have Wilkins under City of Harare.
“I think Wilkins has the highest number of people on ART. There is Beatrice Road Infectious Diseases Hospital. We also have polyclinics that initiate art where they can start somebody on treatment to avert the scourge of HIV,”Mr Muzondiona said.
Mr Muzondiona added that the prevalence rate could be 12percent but there are those in Harare still left behind.
“By prevalence, Harare being the biggest province by population as well as having more people on ART, that is the number of people living with HIV, 200 000, may translate to around12 percent because 200 000 are those on ART. By estimates I think we also have people who are not yet on ART. And if I am not mistaken, they could be around 20 000 in Harare, those people whom we cannot capture in terms of their HIV status. But they are there,” he said.
According to a 2018 NAC report, Harare had the highest number of HI/AIDS related deaths at 3 856 tailed by Midlands at 2 958. Matabeleland North and Mashonaland Central also recorded 1 364 and 1 602 deaths.
“For Harare the high number of deaths can be attributed to the high number of people living in the city. Furthermore, some of the people go to Harare for treatment from other areas and when they die, they are recorded in Harare,” said Mr Muzondiona.
He said the incidence rate of 0, 48 was encouraging given in the past it was higher