THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 29, 2016

Malaria, HIV/AIDS rates on the decline in Tanzania

Infection rates for HIV/AIDS and malaria are on the decline in Tanzania, a recently released national survey has revealed.

The 2011-2012 Tanzania HIV/AIDS and Malaria Indicator Survey, which was launched by Tanzanian President Jakya Kikwete, found that five out of every 100 men and women between the ages of 15 and 49 are infected, the Guardian reports.

"This represents a downward trend since the 2007-08 THMIS and decrease from the rate of seven percent measured in 2003-04, the first national population-based survey to estimate HIV prevalence in mainland Tanzania," the report said, according to the Guardian.

The downward trend also shows a response to a campaign to fight malaria, which has led to most Tanzanian households now owning and using insecticide treated mosquito nets.

Information for the survey was collected from more than 10,000 households, including more than 19,000 men and women in mainland Tanzania and Zanzibar.

The report found that women are more likely to be infected than men at 6.2 percent compared to 3.8 percent, and that urban residents are more likely than rural residents to have HIV.

More men and women are now getting tested for HIV, the report found.

"Between 2007- 08, nearly 20 women to every 100 had been tested before the survey and received their results," according to the report, the Guardian reports. "By 2011-12, the numbers rose to 30 percent of women. Among men, the rate has increased from 19 percent in 2007-08 to 27 percent in 2011-12."

More than nine in 10 households also now owns an insecticide treated mosquito net, which represents a four-fold increase since the 2004-05 Tanzania Demographic and Health Survey.