A total 83 million male condoms and 2.9 million female condoms were distributed in the year 2020, which is a far cry from the 100 million for men and 5.5 million that had been targeted for women during the year.
By Michael Gwarisa
The target misses were largely attributed to service disruption due to Covid-19. The 2020 figures were the lowest compared to the previous three years. The decline in condom distribution also affected uptake and use of condoms by Female Sex Workers and other HIV high risk groups.
Presenting a 2020 Global AIDS Monitoring (GAM) report summary, National Aids Council (NAC) Monitoring and Evaluation Director, Mr Amon Mpfofu said there was need to prepare for future health emergencies to ensure the National HIV response is not derailed.
We all know that there was COVID-19 and it affected our programs negatively. I think we really need to protect our gains, that is something that we really need to do.
“We really need to look at our programs again in line of COVID-19 and say how best can we sustain our good performance even when there is COVID-19. Both targets for male (100m) and female (5.5m) condoms were missed and this is attributed to service disruption due to Covid-19,” said Mr Mpofu.
According to Mr Mpofu, the percentage of Female Sex Workers (FSW) who reported use of condoms with their most recent client in 2020 went down to 43.4% from 79.4% in 2019. For Men having Sex with other Men (MSM), 69.2% reported to have used a condom with their most recent client.
“In the year 2020, there was no data as to the percentage of Sex Workers are living with HIV. The percentage of sex workers living with HIV receiving antiretroviral therapy in the past 12 months was at 58.5%.”
Meanwhile, percentage of MSM living with HIV currently stands at 21.1% while transgender living with HIV stand at 27.5%. Percentage living with HIV receiving antiretroviral therapy in the past 12 months MSM 73.3%, Trans 91.4% and Prisoners 470.
Meanwhile, Zimbabwe has successfully completed estimates for estimates for the MSM size as well as compile data for other key populations such as female sex workers, prisoners and transgender. The implementation of Voluntary Medical Male Circumcision (VMMC) program was also affected by the COVID-19 pandemic leading to the revision of 2020 VMMC annual procedures target from 358,000 to 90,850.
“The country experienced minimal stock outs due to delays in shipment caused by COVID 19. Due to COVID 19 lockdown, people were also failing to access second line medicines which were dispensed at district hospitals and transport challenges in light of COVID 19 regulations. There were however no treatment disruptions since clients were given up to six months’ supply of medicines,” said Mr Mpofu.