Youth account for 50% of new HIV cases in Tanzania

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Tanzanian youth are accounting for 50 per cent of the new HIV/AIDS cases in Tanzania, according to an organisation.

“The youth aged between 15 and 29 years are contributing to 50 per cent of new infections of the HIV epidemic,” said Leonard Maboko, Executive Director of the Tanzania Commission for AIDS (TACAIDS).

“Tanzania faces new daunting task of fighting spread of HIV among young people,” Xinhua news agency quoted the official as saying to reporters here.

He said the fight against HIV mainly depended on foreign support where donors contributed 94 per cent of funding earmarked for fighting against the epidemic while the government contributed only 6 per cent.

“There will come a day when the donors will slash their funding, making it impossible to achieve initiatives aimed at making the country an HIV-zero infection,” he said.

According to the Unicef’s latest figures, the national HIV prevalence among adolescents and adults in Tanzania aged 15–49 years decreased slightly from 5.1 per cent in 2014 to 4.8 per cent in 2019.

Prevalence among women is higher compared to men (6.2 per cent versus 3.7 per cent).

The number of people living with HIV increased from 1.3 million in 2010 to 1.7 million in 2019, while deaths associated with AIDS decreased from 52,000 in 2010 to 27,000 in 2019.

In mainland Tanzania, HIV prevalence varies across regions, with the southern highland regions of Njombe, Iringa and Mbeya as well as Mwanza having much higher HIV prevalence compared to other regions.

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