ZAMBIA should desist from largely depending on donor funding for HIV programmes, says the Southern African AIDS Trust (SAT).

In an interview, SAT country director Zoonadi Ngwenya said there would be serious problems in an event that donors decided to pull out.

"People would develop resistance and most people would die. We need to depend largely on ourselves," he said.

He said the country had made some progress in the fight against HIV and AIDS even though this achievement was not adequate.

Ngwenya cited the delayed sexual debut among young people and the reduction of new infection rates as some of the progress that had been made.

He, however, said there should be more emphasis on prevention and the encouragement of other measures like male circumcision and reduction of sexual partners.

Ngwenya said it was understandable that it was difficult to start discussing issues of sex in the country but emphasised the importance of doing so.

He said there was need to encourage condom use among young people as this had worked in reducing the prevalence rate of HIV in other countries.

"Treatment is not a cure and ARVs only prolong life and as a country we cannot afford treatment because the larger part of the responses comes from the donor community," he said.

Ngwenya said the focus should be at community level since community based organisations knew people's problems and have capacities to respond to their needs effectively.

"We should not impose solutions from outside. Interventions should be focused on the basis of knowing your epidemic in a particular locality so that responses are more focused to their own problems and challenges," said Ngwenya.