State embarks on new AIDS, Hepatitis, Syphilis research

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THE government envisages embarking on research that will generate new statistics relating to the indicators and new infections for HIV/AIDS, Hepatitis and Syphilis.

The research will involve over 42,000 Tanzanians, 8,000 of them children of between zero to 14 years who will be tested for the diseases from across 26 regions in Tanzania Mainland and five regions in Zanzibar.

The Country Representative for the International Centre for AIDS Care and Treatment Programme (ICAP), Mr Mihayo Bupamba, unveiled the plan here yesterday while speaking to stakeholders from the six districts of Kilimanjaro region.

“The research will not be house to house as it was translated earlier but will pick sampled areas only. Teams of eight researchers each will be interviewing heads of households in line with prepared questions. They are not going to use papers, but a special technology,” he said.

Mr Bupamba said the government had done three major researches that produced the current findings in HIV infections.

He said earlier on, the targeted population was not as big as the current research and did not specify age.

This time round, all age groups would be examined from the 16,000 households countrywide.

The research findings will inform the government about the new AIDS infections, specifically those who contracted the malady within the last six months, infections extent and those who live with HIV as well as the real situation in regard to HIV testing in the country.

The country representative said the government found it fit to incorporate the HIV/AIDS research with Hepatitis and Syphilis, whose transmission sources are like HIV although there are no reliable data on the other two diseases in the country.

Mr Bupamba said that in the current study, researchers will take representative samples from 525 areas and that some have been singled out already, Kilimanjaro region having two of them.

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