Tanzania launches nationwide blood test for HIV/AIDS

By Xinhua

Dar es Salaam : Tanzania has launched a nationwide voluntary blood test for HIV/AIDS as part of a new round of campaign.

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“We must win the war, and win we shall,” President Jakaya Kikwete said during the launch of the campaign Saturday televised live nationwide.

Tanzania had announced HIV/AIDS a national disaster back in 1999 and the country has been fighting the disease since 1983.

According to a 2006 report by the African Medical and Research Foundation, 450,129 people in the country have tested for HIV in Tanzania.

The most affected age group, according to the Tanzanian president, is of people aged between 15 and 49, the most able-bodied section of the population.

Adult HIV/AIDS prevalence rate now stands at 8.8 percent by current estimate, with half of the victims having been infected before 29. An estimated 1.4 million people in the country have tested HIV positive.

The survey also predicted that the HIV/AIDS would reduce the country’s GDP by 15 and 25 percent by 2010 by reducing the country’s labour force by 20 percent and the per capita income by 10 percent.