HIV Status in Zanzibar - Page 2
In 2002, stakeholders queried the quality and validity of data that were collected to define the HIV epidemic in Zanzibar. In response to this, a validation survey was carried out in 2002 and the results put the national HIV prevalence at below one percent, and indications of a higher probability of the epidemic in Zanzibar being of the concentrated type. This led to revision of the surveillance protocol to address the inherent limitations in the national HIV surveillance system in an attempt to help gather relevant data to more accurately define the prevailing epidemic in Zanzibar. In addition, based on the above observations, the Integrated Behavioural and Biological Surveillance Surveys (IBBSS) have been institutionalised in Zanzibar. The IBBSS aims at equipping Zanzibar with the ability to monitor HIV and STIs in the general population as well as among some of the key identified most-at-risk populations (MARPs).
HIV infection patterns in the general population (Zanzibar)
The Tanzania HIV/Malaria Indicator Survey (THMIS III) have documented an HIV prevalence of 1.0 percent in the sexually active general population in Zanzibar. The HIV prevalence is higher among women compared to men in Zanzibar and estimates put this at 1.1% Vs 0.9% respectively (THMIS III). Projections from these observations put the estimated number of people living with HIV (PLHIV) in Zanzibar at 10,000. The available evidence shows the HIV epidemic in Zanzibar varies by sex of the individual and Island of residence.. HIV prevalence is higher among women compared to men (1.1% and 0.9% respectively) and higher in Unguja compared to Pemba (0.8% by 0.3 %) Island. Also among young Zanzibaris aged 15-24 years whose HIV prevalence is estimated at 0.2 percent, there are three females infected for male (0.3% Vs 0.1% respectively) in this age bracket.
As outlined earlier, the inherent limitations and nature of DHS in potentially concentrated epidemics, as the case may be in Zanzibar, could lead to a limited base of information on the actual context. To respond to that limitation, additional surveillance methods (such as Respondent Driven Sampling Techniques-RDS and Snowball sampling methods) to assess HIV infections patterns among MARPs have been applied in Zanzibar.