By Michael Gwarisa
AT least one in every five people in Matabeleland region is HIV positive, official statistics have revealed.
Addressing a Media Forum organised by the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR) in the capital Harare, National Aids Council (NAC) Director, Monitoring and Evaluation Amon Mpofu said the Southern region has been the hardest hit with Matabeleland South recording the highest prevalence.
“Among adults aged 15 to 64 years, prevalence of HIV varies geographically across Zimbabwe, ranging from 11.4 percent in Manicaland to 20.1 in Matabeleland North and 22.3 percent in Matabeleland South.
“The Southern region has the highest prevalence, it’s even double in other provinces. In this area one in every five is HIV positive. What we have also realised is that the prevalence in other areas has remained static whereas in the Southern region, the prevalence is decreasing meaning to say people are dying of AIDS in their numbers in the region,” said Mpofu.
Meanwhile, the Southern Region recorded massive strides towards viral load suppression with Mat North recording 66.5 percent and Mat South
“In terms of geographical region, Manicaland, viral load suppression was 61.5 percent, Mashonaland, 59.7 percent, Mashonaland East, 54.5 percent, Mash 58.6 percent, Mat North 66.1 percent, ,Mat South 64.1 percent, Masvingo 62.2 percent, Harare 58.3 percent and Bulawayo 63.6 percent,” added Mpofu.