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Dr. Leonard L. Maboko


The third Tanzania HIV and Malaria Indicator Survey 2011 – 2012 (THMIS III) HIV prevalence data were obtained from blood samples voluntarily provided by a total of 20,811 women and men interviewed. Of the eligible women and men age 15-49, 90% of women and 79% of men provided specimens for HIV testing.

Overall, 5.1% of Tanzanians age 15-49 are HIV-positive. HIV prevalence is higher among women (6.2%) than among men (3.8%). HIV prevalence is higher in urban areas for both women and men than in rural areas.

A comparison of the 2007-08 THMIS and 2011-12 THMIS HIV prevalence estimates indicate that HIV prevalence has declined slightly from 5.7% to 5.1% among adults age 15-49. Similarly, HIV prevalence has declined among women, from 6.6% to 6.2%, and among men, from 4.6% to 3.8%. 

In Mainland Tanzania, HIV prevalence among women and men age 15-49 has decreased from 7.0% in the 2003-04 THIS to 5.3% in the 2011-12 THMIS. The decline in total HIV prevalence between 2003-04 and 2011-12 is statistically significant. Additionally, the decline is significant among men (6.3% versus 3.9%).

Drivers of the epidemic

  1. Promiscuous sexual behaviour
  2. Intergerational sex
  3. Concurrent sexual partners
  4. Presence of other sexually transmitted infections such as herpes simplex x 2 virus.
  5. Inadequate comprehensive knowledge of HIV transmission

Contextual factors shaping the epidemic in the country

  1. Poverty and transactional sex with increasing numbers of commercial sex workers
  2. Men's irresponsible sexual behaviour due to cultural patterns of virility
  3. Social, economic and political gender inequalities including violence against women
  4. Substance abuse such as alcohol consumption
  5. Local cultural practices e.g. widow cleansing
  6. Mobility in all its forms which leads to separation of spouses and increased establishment of temporary sexual relationships


The fight against HIV/AIDS
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