Within the target area of Project Tariro, there are approximately 600 to 1,000 persons needing respite care and treatment. Immune system deficiencies, poor diet, feelings of hopelessness and being outcast along with lack of affordable treatment mean most of these persons will be vulnerable to opportunistic diseases and soon die.
Although there are some groups providing education and assistance to AIDS orphans, little is being done for adults living with HIV/AIDS.
With around one in seven adults living with HIV, Zimbabwe is experiencing one of the harshest AIDS epidemics in the world. In a country with such a tense political and social climate, it has been difficult to respond to the crisis, and Zimbabwe has become increasingly isolated, both politically and economically.
Over 15 % of the adult population in Zimbabwe is positive for HIV/AIDS according to the World Health Organization, 2009. The average life expectancy has dropped to only 34 years. People die from AIDS related deaths at a rate of 4,000 per week. Only 12,000 of those infected are currently receiving ARVs (Antiretroviral) treatment drugs.
Zimbabwe is experiencing it worst economic crisis and severe food shortages since independence.
Over half of its health professionals have left the counry. Over 80 percent of adults are unemployed and live under the poverty line of US$1.00 income per day. Inflation rates have risen to over 2,000 percent.
After many years of denial, the Zimbabwe government now acknowledges the seriousness of the HIV/AIDS epidemic but lacks resources to respond.