The Care and Treatment Center for HIV/AIDS
The Mufindi District is in the eye of the HIV/AIDS storm. Social, environmental, and economic factors came together to create the perfect breeding ground for this aggressive virus. Mufindi's primary export is tea and much of the economics of the district is centered on tea plantations and migrant laborers. These laborers would travel to Mufindi to harvest tea, leaving their families behind. A cultural norm of polygamy and a vulnerable population of young women trying to survive by any means necessary propagated the spread of HIV. All of this, combined with a general lack of education about the HIV virus, proved to be deadly.
In the entire country of Tanzania, there is an HIV prevalence rate of 5-7%; however, in Mufindi District 14.8% of the population is infected with HIV. These numbers continue to grow closer to the project area - which has an estimated prevelance rate of 35%. These numbers are even higher for women of reproductive age at 44%. Before 2007, there was not a single HIV testing or treatment center within 50 kilometers of the project area.
Care and Treatment Center
The Care and Treatment Center for HIV/AIDS was built in 2010 in the center of the project area to increase access to healthcare and eliminate the cost of transportation. Here, medical equipment, medicine, and the medical staff was provided to enable the community to get back on its feet. In the first two years, the number of patients skyrocketed from 200 to 2,000. To this day, more than 4,500 patients are registered to receive HIV treatment at the CTC every month.
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