Drought fuels HIV/AIDS scourge in Zimbabwe

Drought ZimFrom MARCUS MUSHONGA in Harare, Zimbabwe
HARARE, (CAJ News) – THOUSANDS living with HIV/ AIDS and tuberculosis in Zimbabwe are malnourished and require food assistance and nutrition rehabilitation as a severe drought worsens.
People living with HIV are particularly vulnerable to persistent food insecurity, malnutrition and diarrhoeal diseases.
With HIV treatment, more effective if individuals are properly nourished, and antiretroviral medications not to be taken on an empty stomach, the situation is dire.
Experts said the lack of food was directly related with non-adherence to treatment which was leading to increased viral load, opportunistic infections, progression of the disease, and a higher risk of transmitting HIV to others.
In Zimbabwe, food insecurity is also seen pressuring people into harmful coping strategies, such as transactional sex, making them more vulnerable to HIV.
In response to the crisis, the United States has provided $4 million (R53,4 million) targeting people living with HIV in worst affected areas of the country.
This will enable aid agencies expand nutrition activities at clinics across the capital Harare, Bulawayo and Mutasa District.
World Food Programme will scale up its assistance from the current 2 348 beneficiaries to over 27 000 individuals in the coming months.
Activities will target 350 000 beneficiaries and aim to reduce morbidity and mortality from diarrhoeal diseases.
WFP Country Representative, Eddie Rowe, said food security was especially critical for people living with HIV.
“These resources will ensure people living with HIV access food and nutrients they need to adhere to treatment and live healthy, productive lives.”
Some 1,4 million Zimbabweans, a tenth of the population, are living with HIV. – CAJ NEWS

Short URL: http://cajnewsafrica.com/?p=17894

Posted by on Feb 3 2017. Filed under Africa & World, Featured, National, News, Regional. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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