Africa Asia Middle East Français Português Subscribe IRIN Site Map
Global HIV/AIDS news and analysis
Advanced search
 Thursday 09 August 2007
In-Depth Reports 
Country profiles 
Fact files 
Really Simple Syndication Feeds 
About PlusNews 
Contact PlusNews 
Print report
TANZANIA: Rising prevalence in Zanzibar needs new approach

Photo: Issa Yussuf/IRIN
Public AIDS messages are rare on the largely Muslim island
STONE TOWN, ZANZIBAR, 13 February 2007 (PlusNews) - HIV prevalence on the semi-autonomous Tanzanian island of Zanzibar is on the rise, prompting officials to call for a more targeted response to HIV/AIDS.

According to government estimates, HIV figures have increased from 0.6 percent in 2002 to 0.9 percent in 2006.

"This is a shocking figure in such a small population. Unfortunately, the most affected group is youths aged between 20 and 49 years," chief minister Shamsi Nahodha said at the recent launch of the first AIDS awareness campaign to target young people.

HIV levels are significantly lower than the 7 percent infection rate on the mainland, but there are concerns that not enough is being done to address AIDS on the island.

Asha Abdallah, director of the Zanzibar AIDS Commission, told PlusNews the new statistics were based on antenatal records, and the commission would be conducting a study later in the year to determine HIV prevalence in the general population.

Nahodha said, "It seems the ongoing strategies to control the spread of HIV have not been productive ... we need to review our strategies."

He said most workshops and seminars about HIV on the island took place in urban areas, and targeted political leaders rather than the youth and the majority of the population, who lived in rural areas. He appealed to the general public to be faithful in marriage, and urged the youth to abstain from sex.

Hundreds of school children attended the colourful launch of the five-year campaign, carrying banners that read, "Youth is a unique part of life - protect it".

Public messages about HIV/AIDS and safer sex are rare on the predominantly Muslim island, but the initiative hopes to do away with the reluctance to openly discuss these issues.

The United States Agency for International Development, Family Health International, a United States-based nongovernmental organisation, and the Zanzibari government are supporting the awareness campaign, with coordination by AFRICARE, a non-profit organisation that supports social empowerment.


Theme(s): (IRIN) Care/Treatment - PlusNews


[This report does not necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations]
Print report
 More on Tanzania
TANZANIA: Escalating drug use threatens AIDS fight
TANZANIA: Tausi Ki Parara, "I felt like if I touched someone I would infect them"
IRIN: Today's most popular IRIN articles
TANZANIA: Government to step up ARV rollout and VCT
GLOBAL: Women want a bigger piece of the funding pie
 More on Care/Treatment - PlusNews
AFRICA-ASIA: Novartis ruling good news for ARV access
SWAZILAND: Spiralling TB cases overwhelm health sector
SUDAN-UGANDA: Programmes disregard HIV among the elderly
ZAMBIA: New testing method set to improve child survival
GLOBAL: MSM still marginalised in AIDS response
Back | Home page

Services:  Africa | Asia | Middle East | Radio | Film & TV | Photo | E-mail subscription
Feedback · E-mail Webmaster · IRIN Terms & Conditions · Really Simple Syndication News Feeds · About PlusNews · Bookmark PlusNews · Donors

Copyright © IRIN 2007
This material comes to you via IRIN, the humanitarian news and analysis service of the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. The opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of the United Nations or its Member States. Republication is subject to terms and conditions as set out in the IRIN copyright page.