The number of people living with HIV/Aids in Tanzania stood at 1.4 million last year, and 54 000 more are believed to have been infected in the same period, the United Nations Programme on Aids (UNAids) said in a recent report.
In a country where condom is largely ignored by the majority of the population, who firmly believe that unprotected sex was cool and ‘very nice’, it is not surprising that the number of new infections could be this high, though they have shown signs of dropping lately.
Condoms are sold in Tanzanian tuck shops, but shopkeepers interviewed by Sifa News said that very few people bought them, while some believe it is a ‘sin’ to use them.
It is not only Tanzania that has been hit by new infections, Eastern and Southern Africa seem to have become the virus’ easy targets. The report shows that 960 000 new cases were recorded in these regions last year.
However, there are some positive signs about the country’s drive to fight the virus. The number of Tanzania’s Aids sufferers thought to have access to ARVs stood at 800 000 until June 2016, the report said.
At least 37 million people are living with HIV/Aids across the world, according to UNAids.