Dar es Salaam Regional Commissioner Sadique Meck Sadique has urged city residents to be vigilant against new HIV infection, saying statistics showed higher rate than the national average.
He made the statement on World Aids Day yesterday marked at regional level in Kinindoni District.
HIV prevalence is highest in Iringa with 16 per cent; followed Dar es Salaam 9.3 per cent and Morogoro 9 per cent. Infection rates are lowest in Zanzibar, with less than per cent.
“The 9.3 is no good result if you compare it to the national infection statistics which is 5.7,” he said.
The presence of unlicensed guest houses, brothels and increased number of sex workers are reported to be the main reason for the high infection rate.
While ordering stoppage of such activities in the region, the RC expressed concern over misunderstanding between the government and religious leaders over condoms use.
“The government emphasises the use of condoms but religious leaders forbid them,” he said.
Sadique called on all HIV/Aids victims to continue using available ARVs, assuring them that the government has removed the fake ones from the market.
Earlier, the Regional Medical Officer Dr Gunini Kamba, noted that for one year from July 2011 to June 2012 the infection trend has been worrying in city compared to other regions. “In that period 240,978 people were tested under the volunteer testing system, among them 65 per cent were found to be infected,” he said.
Dr Kamba added that 52 per cent of people with tuberculosis were also HIV positive.
The region lacks HIV Test Kits, a factor hindering HIV Voluntary Testing. The victims complained in the presence of the RC that they were usually humiliated by various HIV stakeholders and were not given a chance to express their views.
Some of them were seen encroaching on the high table of the chief gust, asking him to give them a chance to deliver their views.
The situation forced the Kinondoni District Commissioner Jordan Rugimbana to intervene by asking the victim to be patient, but they refused.
“We are tired of this, why do they not recognize our presence, instead they keep on politicking over this dangerous disease.
“We need to give our speech and not to hear theirs,” Jonh Salonya, one of the victims told the DC.
When given the chance, they said that for long time they have been ignored in various HIV issues, and if invited at all, they were not allowed to participate but were given observer status.
DC Rugimbana, for his part said, the victims were skipped in yesterday’s programme not deliberately, but as a result of what he described as a misunderstanding.
SOURCE: GUARDIAN ON SUNDAY