Zimbabwe News

Zimbabwe faces potential HIV prevention setback as international condom funding expires

The international funding for condoms in Zimbabwe is coming to an end in 2025, a development that may reverse the gains made by the country in the fight against the prevention of HIV and AIDS.

Speaking at the second quarter HIV Prevention Partnership Forum organised by Safaids in Harare last week, the National HIV Prevention Coordinator in the Ministry of Health and Child Care Gertrude Ncube, said (via The Sunday News):

There is actually donor fatigue for condom funding, so as a country, we are saying should we risk all the gains made through our condom programming because there is no funding.

We need to look at how best we mobilise even our domestic funding to support condom procurement.

Ncube said that the country has been too dependent on condom support from partners such as PEPFAR through USAID for both the Zimbabwe National Family Planning Council and the public sector. She said:

PEPFAR has already told us that from 2026, there will not be any condom funding.

Deputy Director HIV and STI Programme Dr Tsitsi Apollo said the country has to look for alternative funding sources for programmes such as Public Private Partnerships. She said:

Do we know what will happen from 2027 and beyond after the funding expires considering what is happening globally and the funding being given to countries?

If Zimbabwe gets to that upper-middle income bracket we are less likely to receive external funding because the Global Fund uses a certain allocation formula to fund countries based on their economies.

National Aids Council (NAC) Director Programmes Raymond Yekeye said the AIDS Levy was not enough to meet the council’s requirements. He said:

It’s the whole HIV response program that is at a critical stage on how it is going to be sustained and how it is going to be funded, there is a need to develop a sustainability roadmap for the HIV response.

The levy is probably 25 to 30 percent of our requirements for the HIV response and that is why we are discussing other financing mechanisms such as the National Health Insurance Scheme because the levy on its own will not be able to sustain.

The AIDS Levy is a tax introduced by the government in 1999 to raise funds for the national HIV/AIDS response.

The levy is charged as a 3% tax on all income, including salaries, pensions, and investment earnings.

The funds collected from the AIDS Levy are channelled towards NAC, which is responsible for coordinating Zimbabwe’s multi-sectoral HIV/AIDS programmes and initiatives.

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