Concern as 100 people abandon antiretroviral treatment

Friday March 15 2019

 

By Anthony Mayunga, The Citizen amayunga@mwananchipapers.co.tz

Serengeti. Some 108 people who were on antiretroviral treatment in Serengeti are no longer attending clinic.

 Serengeti District HIV/Aids programme coordinator Ngwegwe Damas said such people stopped taking drugs between July and December 2018.

The district has 13 HIV testing and counselling centres that can dispense antiretroviral drugs to more than 7, 180 people.

The centres are Robanda, Issenye, Iramba, Kisaka, Machochwe, Bwitengi, Rwamchanga, Mugumu, Natta, Nyerere Designated Hospital, Kemugesi, Wagete and Morotonga.

“We have been unable track the 108 people down because some claimed they had no mobile phones and others gave us fake cellphone numbers,” Dr Damas lamented.

Dr Damas was speaking during a meeting on HIV.

Between October and December last year, 9, 941 people were tested for HIV and 178 were found positive.

Dr Damas advised Serengeti residents to avoid contracting HIV as the viral prevalence stood at 2.6 per cent in the district, above 2.1 per cent nationally between October and December 2018.

The chairman of the Council of People Living with HIV in Serengeti District, Mr Elieneza Pius, spoke of a campaign being undertaken on the importance of undergoing HIV screening and those found with the virus to use drugs as prescribed.

 “It is sad that some stop using HIV when their health improves. That is dangerous as their health will deteriorate when they are attacked afresh,” he warned.

Mr Pius was diagnosed with HIV in 2005.

JSI Lake Zone project director Amos Nsheha called for concerted efforts to stem HIV spread and gender-based violence.

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