National HIV and AIDS Policy

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The Revolutionary Government of Zanzibar with support from HIV response partners has collectively initiated and implemented interventions towards averting the impact of the HIV and AIDS scourge which has remained a social, economic, and political concern nationally. This has been made possible by the guidance from the broad framework as laid out by the 2004 National HIV and AIDS policy. It has been possible to stabilize the HIV prevalence in the general population to below 1 percent through these efforts. However, new evidence has uncovered the high HIV prevalence rates amongst the key populations that are way above that of the general population. This is the highest risk that Zanzibar is facing as there is a higher chance that due to the high-risk behavior of the key populations, the transmission of HIV will affect the general population. These calls for new and concerted efforts in the national HIV response necessitate a new policy framework vide the 2012 National HIV and AIDS Policy. Globally it has been observed that investments towards HIV and AIDS have reduced significantly. In this response, countries have been called upon to adopt a strategic approach to investments. This calls for enhanced political leadership to leverage economic development while at the same time marshal internal resources to prioritize and implement the most effective HIV and AIDS programmatic interventions. This policy takes cognizance of these observations and reiterates the government’s commitment to the fight against HIV and AIDS in Zanzibar. The process of formulating this policy was a culmination of profound efforts invested through the leadership of the Zanzibar AIDS Commission (ZAC) with meaningful participation of Development Partners, HIV response implementing partners and the Zanzibari community. The stakeholders who participated in this process came from all sectors and representing a wide range of organisations. It is my conviction that with the level of participation exemplified in this process, all stakeholders shall individually and collectively assume their roles in ensuring the successful implementation of this policy to make Zanzibar free from new HIV infections, free from discrimination and free from AIDS related death.