THE population of people living with HIV, aged 50 and above, has continued to grow, reaching 272 240, according to 2022 HIV Estimates released by UNAIDS.
This means an increased need for long-term access to HIV and other health services, as the older age group is more vulnerable to non-communicable diseases and adverse drug reactions.
Despite Zimbabwe having achieved the 95-95-95 targets, exclusion from global reporting and targeting, as most key reports focus on the 15 to 49 age group, presents a challenge.
To end AIDS, in line with Sustainable Development Goals and the National Development Strategy 1 (NDS1), all at-risk groups must be supported, in line with the Second Republic’s motto of leaving no one and no place behind.
UNAIDS Zimbabwe country director, Jane Kalweo, said there was need to critique past approaches and learn about the most effective implementation of evidence-based HIV prevention strategies, particularly emerging interventions.
“Advances in anti-retroviral therapy mean more people are living and ageing with HIV.
“This population is increasing because young people with HIV are surviving and ageing, and an increasing number of older people are acquiring HIV,” she said.