Since the first three AIDS cases were reported in Tanzania in 1983, the HIV epidemic has spread rapidly to all districts and communities in the country, and affected all sectors of the society. HIV prevalence continues to decline over the years with current national HIV prevalence rate showing a decline to 5.1% from 5.7% reported in the 2007-2008 survey.
The UNAIDS estimates for HIV and AIDS in Tanzania for the year 2011 were as follows;
- 1,600,000 people living with HIV
- 5.7% Adults aged 15 to 49 prevalence rate
- 1,300,000 Adults ≥15 years living with HIV
- 760,000 Women ≥15 years living with HIV
- 230,000 Children aged 0 to 14years living with HIV
- 84,000 Deaths due to AIDS
- 1,300,000 Orphans due to AIDS aged 0 to 17 years
Shinyanga, Geita and Simuyu Regions which are, AGPAHI’s current geographic focus have highly dispersed population resulting in limited healthcare coverage with 348 health facilities (9 hospitals, 29 health centers and 310 dispensaries), serving over 10,000 people per facility, in comparison to the national average of 5,500 people per facility .
Shinyanga Region is one of Tanzania's 30 administrative regions. The regional capital is the municipality of Shinyanga. According to the 2012 national census, the region had a population of 1,534,808. Shinyanga region was divided into two more regions, almost 10% of Tanzania’s population was estimated to have 304,000 people living with HIV according to the regional HIV prevalence of 7.6% . The HIV prevalence of Shinyanga region has declined from 7.6% to 7.4% (0.2% decrease) over a period of 4 years with 45,544 clients in need of ART .