HARARE — The World Health Organization (WHO) says people living with HIV and AIDS should continue taking anti-retroviral (ARV) therapy to manage their infections following claims by a local preacher that he had received divine revelation of a herbal cure.
In a statement, Dr. Alex Gasaira, UN in Zimbabwe WHO country representative, said people on ARVS should note that “there is no cure for HIV infection.”
Zimbabwean minister of religion Walter Magaya of Prophetic Healing and Deliverance Ministries, claimed a few days ago that he had found a cure for AIDS, which he called Aguma. This claim has already been dismissed by the Ministry of Health and Child Welfare.
Dr. Gasaira said those desperate for a cure should not abandon their ARV therapy, adding that any researchers working in the field are urged to subject their treatments to the Zimbabwe Ministry of Health for proper clinical trials and procedures.
He said until a cure is verified, effective ARV drugs can control HIV infections and help prevent transmission “so that people with HIV, and those at substantial risk, can enjoy health, long and productive lives.
As of the end of last year, 87 percent of Zimbabweans living with HIV were aware of their status, and 74 percent of them were receiving treatment, said Dr. Gasaira.
The United Nations is supporting Zimbabwe in its fight to stamp out HIV and AIDS as a public health threat by 2030, starting with informing citizens of their status and working to suppress infection through treatment.
Zimbabwe saw some 30,000 AIDS-related deaths in 2016, with well over one million people living with HIV accounted for in the same year, according to statistics from UNAIDS.