Tanzanian health authorities said plans were afoot to trace at least 200,000 unregistered HIV patients to control new infections.
Ummy Mwalimu, the Minister for Health, Community Development, Gender, Seniors and Children, said currently Tanzania has 1.7 million HIV patients but only 1.5 million have been registered, leaving 200,000 unregistered, reports Xinhua news agency.
“We have to trace the 200,000 unregistered HIV patients who could easily contribute to the spread of new infections,” Mwalimu said when she launched a five-year strategic training research on community health in the commercial capital Dar es Salaam.
She said the 200,000 HIV patients could be traced through tests that should be done from village level, ward level through to district level, adding that the government’s intention is to eliminate HIV by 2030.
Mwalimu said 98 per cent of the 1.5 million registered HIV patients were on antiretroviral drugs (ARVs) treatment that keeps the virus under control, protects the immune system so that a patient can stay healthy and live a long life.
She said plans to trace the 200,000 unaccounted for HIV patients will go in tandem with plans to reduce the number of children infected with HIV by their mothers which currently stood at 6,000 children annually.
“The government’s expectations are to see to it that all children are born free from any disease,” said Mwalimu.