AIDS levy collections in Zimbabwe have fallen by more than half as a result of Covid-19 lockdown. The AIDS levy is derived from 3% of income tax paid by individuals and corporates.
With some companies having scaled down operations and laid off workers due to the effects of lockdown on business, the National Aids Council’s purse was hit hard.
In 2020, AIDS levy collection amounted to ZWD$1 billion dollars, which is equivalent to US$12 million dollars. In previous years collections averaged US$30 million.
NAC Chief Executive Officer, Dr Bernard Madzima, said apart from the direct contributions into the national Aids trust fund, Covid also affected the operations of traditional funding partners in the national effort against HIV/AIDS.
In response to the country’s fight against the HIV epidemic, the AIDS levy was introduced in 1999 by the Zimbabwe Government and took effect in January 2000. The AIDS levy has achieved substantial results particularly in the provision of free antiretroviral therapy for HIV positive patients.