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 Sunday 15 July 2007
 
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TANZANIA: Countrywide HIV testing campaign to be launched in July


Photo: PlusNews
The campaign will encourage people to know their HIV status
DAR ES SALAAM, 7 June 2007 (PlusNews) - The Tanzanian government will launch a national HIV testing campaign next month, President Jakaya Kikwete has announced.

Kikwete said the campaign - due to begin on 14 July - would enable the country to gain a better understanding of the magnitude of the pandemic and identify the needs of affected Tanzanians.

"We are therefore appealing to the people to come out and check their HIV status," he said. "Don't wait until next month if you can do that now."

The campaign is to be coordinated by the government and NGOs such as the African Medical and Research Foundation using Tanzania's 1,000-plus voluntary counselling and testing (VCT) centres.

The United Nations World Health Organization recently called for health centres to begin routinely recommending an HIV test to their patients in a bid to increase the numbers of people who know their status.

Tanzania has reduced its HIV prevalence from 13 percent in the 1990s to seven percent currently. Kikwete, speaking in one of his regular monthly broadcasts to the nation, said the government planned to scale-up the number of people on life-prolonging antiretroviral medication from 125,000 to 440,000 in 2008.

"It is possible to avoid the disease and ultimately become an HIV-free society," he said.

jk/kr/oa


Theme(s): (IRIN) Care/Treatment - PlusNews, (IRIN) HIV/AIDS (PlusNews), (IRIN) Prevention - PlusNews

[ENDS]

[This report does not necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations]
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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.