HIV negative people can take ARVs : Ministry of Health official


An official in the Ministry of Health and Child Care has said HIV-negative people can now take ARVs as an HIV prevention measure.

The Director HIV and TB in the Ministry of Health and Child Care, Dr Owen Mugurungi, told New Ziana that 95 per cent of all sexually active Zimbabweans know their HIV status. He said:

So, we are saying when one thinks of prevention measures, he or she must choose from our variety of services, including condoms and Pre- pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) or Post post-exposure prophylaxis as well as ARVs.

Now even an HIV negative person can take ARVs as an HIV prevention measure.

We notice that many couples manage to go for ante-natal care during pregnancy and have known their results.

However, we have also noticed that during the first 42 days after giving birth men are then going outside and do whatever they do there, but in the end bring the disease back home.

They infect their wives and children thereafter, who will be breastfed.

So we are now saying mothers can take PrEP or ARVs during that period when they feel at risk. The same applies to everyone sexually active.

The Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) has established the 95-95-95 targets, whereby 95% of PL-HIV should be diagnosed, 95% of those diagnosed with HIV should be receiving antiretroviral therapy (ART), and 95% of all those receiving ART should achieve viral suppression (VLS).

Mugurungi also said Zimbabwe has enough ARVs to take it through to the next three years, adding that the Global Fund, which is the major source of HIV health funding to Zimbabwe will take the country through.

The Ministry of Health and Child Care has scrapped all user fees for accessing HIV and TB prevention and treatment services at all public health centres.

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