Feature story

United Republic of Tanzania lowers age of consent for HIV testing

29 November 2019

The United Republic of Tanzania has approved a change to the law that lowers the age of consent for HIV testing from 18 years to 15 years. The amendment to legislation also makes self-testing for HIV legal, also from the age of 15 years.

“These amendments will significantly accelerate our intention to meet the 90–90–90 goals, which aim at ending the AIDS epidemic by 2030,” said Ummy Mwalimu, Minister of Health, Community Development, Gender, Elderly and Children. The ministry was instrumental in tabling the amendments to the legislation.

The 90–90–90 targets are ambitious treatment targets to help end the AIDS epidemic. They aim to ensure that, by 2020, 90% of all people living with HIV will know their HIV status, 90% of all people who know their HIV status will be on antiretroviral therapy and 90% of all people on antiretroviral therapy will be virally suppressed.

The changes to the law will contribute to improved access to HIV testing for adults aged 15 years and over.

At the end of 2018, the progress on the 90–90–90 targets in the United Republic of Tanzania was 78–92–87. In 2018, there were 72 000 new HIV infections in the country. While this is a 13% reduction from 2010, it is below the 28% reduction across eastern and southern Africa. 

“I congratulate the Government of the United Republic of Tanzania on its leadership and high-level political commitment to the AIDS response. UNAIDS will continue to work hand-in-hand with all our partners to ensure that access to HIV testing and treatment continues to expand,” said Leo Zekeng, UNAIDS Country Director in the United Republic of Tanzania.