Tanzania reduces new HIV infections by almost half in 19 years: official

File photo shows that Tanzanians read promotion pamphlets of preventing the spread of HIV/AIDS in Dar Es Salaam, capital of Tanzania, July 14, 2007. (Xinhua/Yi Gaochao)
File photo shows that Tanzanians read promotion pamphlets of preventing the spread of HIV/AIDS in Dar Es Salaam, capital of Tanzania, July 14, 2007. (Xinhua/Yi Gaochao)

The Tanzania Commission for AIDS (TACAIDS), a state-run organization tasked to coordinate the response to the HIV/AIDS epidemic, said on Tuesday new HIV infections in the country have been reduced by almost half in 19 years.

Leonard Maboko, TACAIDS executive director, said new HIV infections have been reduced from 130,000 annually in 2001 to 68,400 in 2019.

“This tremendous success in reduction of new infections of the epidemic is a result of continued raising of awareness education on the virus and the increased use of antiretroviral drugs (ARVs),” Maboko told a news conference in Moshi ahead of the World AIDS Day on Dec. 1.

He said statistics showed that deaths related to HIV/AIDS declined from 85,000 annually in 2001 to 25,000 in 2019.

Maboko said TACAIDS in partnership with other stakeholders will continue raising awareness on the epidemic, including pushing for the use of ARVs.