The Zimbabwean government has added 60,000 more HIV positive people on medication under the national subsidized anti-retroviral (ARV) program.
According to the latest statistics released by the National Aids Council (NAC), the program which was introduced in 2004, is now benefiting 510,000 people up from last year’s figure of 450,000.
NAC set a target to increase the number of beneficiaries by 100,000 by the end of the year.
NAC Chief Executive Tapiwa Magure expressed optimism that judging by the number of people that have been initiated on the program since January, the council will surpass the set target by the end of this year.
About 8,000 more people are being added on the list every month across the country. “By the end of last month, we were giving ARV’ s to 510,000 people, so we are definitely going to surpass our target by end of year,” Magure was quoted by state radio as saying.
However, 115,577 people are still on the waiting list to start the life-saving treatment.
The increase in ARV uptake follows Zimbabwe’s adoption of the World Health Organization (WHO) guidelines that require treatment to commence for people living with HIV when their CD4 count reaches 350.