UNICEF’s programme on HIV aims to achieve the equitable use of proven HIV prevention and treatment interventions for children, pregnant women and adolescents in Zimbabwe.
Decreased funding for HIV and AIDS in 2017 has been a challenge but also an opportunity to put more effort in leveraging and integrating successfully with other sectors
Other key gaps were poor use as well as quality of data; inadequate tools for reporting of integration of HIV into Integrated Management of Acute Malnutrition (IMAM) and of community activities and weak mechanisms for coordination of implementation of integrated interventions. IMAM is an integrated program to fight back against acute malnutrition.
Zimbabwe has made significant strides in expanding access to HIV testing and treatment, including prevention of mother-to-child transmission (PMTCT), and lowering HIV prevalence. However, despite increased access, more is needed to provide timely and quality HIV services that are equitably distributed across the country.
In 2017, UNICEF HIV programme contributed toward the goal of ensuring that 80% of pregnant women, new-born, children and adolescents have equitable access to cost-effective and quality health interventions and practice.
The approach of UNICEF has been based on a differentiated response, targeting districts in Zimbabwe and most at risk age groups/gender (children and adolescents focusing on girls) through an intensified partnership working closely with Ministry of Health and Child Care (MOHCC), National AIDS Council (NAC), non-governmental organizations (NGOs), other UN agencies and bilateral donors.
The Solution & Achievements
Financial and technical support was provided in the development of the elimination of mother to child transmission of HIV plan (2017-2021). The plan is expected to result in accelerated implementation of the interventions that will eventually lead to Zimbabwe being validated for elimination of mother to child transmission of HIV by 2021.
Technical and financial support was provided in development of the National HIV Prevention Revitalization plan endorsed at a Regional meeting held in Victoria Falls in the first quarter of the year in order to adopt the new “combination HIV prevention approach”.
In 2017, as part of its humanitarian response, UNICEF provided HIV information and maintained access to services and medicines to flood affected populations.
Moreover, 2017 witnessed successful cross-sectorial initiatives with nutrition, health, child protection, education and social policy and research sections. In collaboration with nutrition, the integration of HIV testing into Integrated Management of Acute
UNICEF in numbers
- The proportion of HIV-exposed newborns receiving ARVs to prevent mother-to-child transmission significantly increased from 78% in 2015 to 98% in 2016.
- Access to ART by HIV+ pregnant women increased from 84 to 95% between 2015 and September 2016.
- The number of adolescents (10–19 years) accessing ART increased from 62,845 in 2015 to 66,886 (26,501 males and 40,385 females) by September 2016.
- Annual incidence of HIV among persons aged 15 to 64 years in Zimbabwe is 0.47%: 0.33% among males and 0.60% among females. This corresponds to approximately 33,000 new cases of HIV annually among persons aged 15 to 64 years.
- Prevalence of HIV among persons aged 15 to 64 years in Zimbabwe was 14.1%: 12.0% among males and 16.0% among females. This corresponds to approximately 1.2 million persons aged 15 to 64 years living with HIV in Zimbabwe.
- Prevalence of VLS among HIV-positive persons aged 15 to 64 years in Zimbabwe regardless of ART status was 59.6%: 53.6% for males and 63.7% for females.