Thirty-eight percent of people with HIV have been diagnosed with high blood pressure, putting them at risk of non-communicable diseases, with 38 percent of them diagnosed with excess fat.

The percentage is among 722 people surveyed by the National Centre for Human Disease Research (NIMR) in the Mbeya Region, of which 650 have been diagnosed with infection and 122 are uninfected.

AFRICOS, a Senior Research Fellow of the African Population Research Group, Dr. Lucas Maganga, made the statement over the weekend when he spoke to staff from the US Embassy and HJFMRI and journalists in the country.

Dr. Maganga's statement is part of the implementation of anti-AIDS initiatives to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the fight against HIV infection through the US President's Emergency Fund for the Fight against AIDS (PEPFAR) and its partners, WRAIR-DOD and HJFMRI in Mbeya.

He explained that in the fight against HIV, NIMR through the AFRICOS Research Group which works with four African countries including Tanzania, South Africa, Nigeria and Kenya, has helped improve medical services such as access to antiretroviral drugs.

NIMR HIV researcher in the Mbeya Region and AFRICOS Coordinator Dr Reginald Gervas said the study was the first to involve African people and that it would support a citizen-friendly treatment.

"The AFRICOS research that supports AIDS research has helped improve treatment policy, reduce drug resistance, as well as advise access to shared care for AIDS and non-communicable diseases," said Dr. Gervas.

The manager of the NIMR Southern Highlands Research Centre, Dr Nyanda Ntinginya said they have continued to research and coordinate AFRICOS research with a mobile laboratory to provide the public with the right treatment for HIV infection.