Southern African Development Community (SADC) member states have recorded a decline in new HIV infections which now stands at 26 per cent on average.
This was revealed by the Directorate of Social and Human Development and Special Programmes at the SADC secretariat Stephen Sianga. He also said that there was a decline in new HIV infections with 26 per cent and above in eight member states.
Mr Sianga told journalists ahead of the 35th SADC summit at the Gaborone International Conference Centre (GICC) that the statistics were conducted in the recent progress report on the HIV and AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria.
He said the report was approved by the joint meeting of Ministers of Health and Ministers responsible for HIV and AIDS programmes, in January 2015.
Mr Sianga said using a CD4 cut off count of 350 for initiating anti-retroviral therapy, four member states namely Botswana, Namibia, Swaziland and Zambia recorded treatment coverage of 80 per cent and above.
He said Malawi, South Africa and Zimbabwe recorded anti-retroviral therapy coverage of between 60 and 79 per cent.
Anti- retroviral coverage in Lesotho, Mozambique and Tanzania was between 40 and 59 percent while Angola and Madagascar were below 40 per cent.
Mr Sianga said there was also a stabilisation of malaria transmission across the region due to the increased utilisation for the prevention of malaria and intermittent treatment in pregnant women.
He said the region was confronted with enormous challenges in terms of poverty, HIV and AIDS, unemployment especially among the youth and women social integration, human development and gender equality among others.