Men Account for Majority of Aids Related Deaths: UNAIDS

Despite a higher HIV burden among women, men still account for the majority of deaths from AIDS-related illness according to the UNAIDS 2018 report released last week.

The report noted that reaching more men with HIV testing and treatment is critical in reducing HIV incidences among women.

“Reaching more men with HIV testing and treatment is critical to breaking cycles of HIV transmission and reducing HIV incidence among young women. Community-based service delivery is at the cutting edge of HIV service provision in eastern and southern Africa and holds the key to future progress,

“Punitive laws, police harassment and widespread social stigma and discrimination stand in the way of efforts to address the extremely high incidence of HIV among key populations. Eastern and southern Africa remains the region most affected by the HIV epidemic, accounting for 45% of the world’s HIV infections and 53% of people living with HIV globally,” noted the report.

Zimbabwe was also cited to be among 10 countries in the region with laws and policies that require parental consent to accessing sexual and reproductive health services which according to the report discourage adolescent girls from accessing the services they need to stay healthy.

“Removal of these requirements is needed, as is the rapid scale-up of intensive combination prevention programme packages, including elements that improve school attendance and empower young women to mitigate their own risk,” added UNAIDS.

According to the report, three out of every four people living with HIV now know their status which is the first step to getting treatment.

The report further noted that a record 21.7 million people are on treatment, a net increase of 2.3 million people since the end of 2016.

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