Posted on Monday 23 May 2011 - 10:54 Geoffrey nangai Geoffrey Nangai, AfricaNews reporter in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania Photo: Bas Vlugt Fifty per cent of Tanzanians do not know their HIV/AIDS status, the Chairperson of the Tanzania Commission for AIDS (TACAIDS) Fatuma Mrisho said. The country with a population of over 40 million people officially launched the National HIV testing campaign in 2007 with an intention of seeing more people test for their statuses in the country's initiative of zero tolerance to HIV/AIDS. Research has, however, shown that voluntary testing has been failed by men who have resorted to using their wives as HIV/AIDS test kits in knowing their statuses with many depending on results given to their wives upon starting antenatal clinics. According to Mrisho, the country needs a 1.1 trillion shillings budget to treat the two million people who have already been infected with HIV/AIDS. We have already developed a national Multi-strategic frame work to help reduce the HIV/AIDS Prevalence rate further. We are now focusing on a zero tolerance to HIV/AIDS infections come 2015.We also dont want to see any more deaths due to HIV/AIDS come 2015,while stigma and discrimination should be totally scrapped come 2015, she said. But according to the former Prime Minister Fredrick Sumaye, the fight to reducing HIV/AIDS prevalence rates can only be successful with joint interventions from all stake holders. There is need for people to continue testing for HIV/AIDS so as to know their status. Those found with the virus should not be discriminated, he warned. The HIV/AIDS prevalence in Tanzania has dropped from 7 percent in 2003/2004 to 5.7 in 2007/2008, according to the latest Tanzania HIV/AIDS and Malaria Indicator Survey 2007/2008. The survey also indicated that the southern region of Iringa had the highest infection rate of 15.7 percent while women had recorded a higher prevalence rate of 6.6 percent as compared to 4.4 percent posted by men in the country. By the end of June 2008, a total number of 261,413 people were found to be HIV positive which is about 5.4 % of all the 4,827,096 who turned up for testing during the campaign. Among them, 100,522 (4.6%) were males and 160,891(6.1%) were female.