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prevalence rate up
Ncube, Daily News
prevalence rate has increased to 15 percent from 14,26 percent in
2011, amid fears gains made so far could go to waste given the rising
poverty levels pushing more and more people into prostitution to
make ends meet.
statistics from National
Aids Council (Nac), the total number of people infected by the
virus has increased by 0,74 percent.
At least 1,2
million Zimbabweans are living with HIV, but the figures could be
higher as most men are shunning testing and counselling centres.
In 2011, Zimbabwe
had recorded a decline in HIV prevalence rate to 13,7 percent down
from 18 percent in 2003 which represented over 1,6 million Zimbabweans
above the age of 15 being positive.
Bulawayo provincial Aids coordinator told a workshop held for Bulawayo
City Council (BCC) councillors this week that early marriages; spousal
separation and low risk perception were the major drivers of the
swell and compounding efforts to eradicate HIV and Aids.
has devastated southern parts of the country, pointedly Bulawayo,
Matabeleland North and Matabeleland South.
South and North have 21 percent, Bulawayo 19 percent, Harare 13
percent while Mashonaland Central, Manicaland and Masvingo have
14 percent each.
The huge figures
in Matabeleland have been attributed to spousal separation as a
result of people crossing the border to neighbouring countries such
as Botswana and South Africa in search of jobs.
rate is slightly up from the 14,3 percent recorded last year and
this is an indicator that we still have barriers in our community,”
Nyathi told a two-day comprehensive condom promotion workshop for
Bulawayo councillors last Thursday.
and general economic hardship still predominant in Zimbabwe and
more companies closing down forcing divorces, experts say the situation
could worsen as teenagers would turn into prostitution for survival.
unemployment rate currently stands at 85 percent and productivity
capacity in most industries has dropped from 45 percent to 30, leading
to many companies closing down.
and economic hardships are some of the key drivers of the scourge,
then gains made since 2001, when the country battled to reduce the
prevalence rate from 21,5 percent to 13 percent, could be reversed.
Nac, an estimated 657 000 are on Antiretroviral Therapy (ART) out
of the estimated 1,2 million affected people.
there seemed to be a low uptake of condoms to curb the spread of
HIV while a reluctance to deal with multiple relationships was contributing
to the fuelling of the spread of the virus.
a lot of condoms last year but it is still sad because there is
still a low uptake of the female condom designed to complement the
male condom,” she said.
recorded over 45,621 HIV-related deaths in 2012, forcing government
to come up with a theme for 2013 as “Zero new infections,
zero HIV and Aids-related deaths and zero stigmatisation”.
monitoring and evaluation director, recently revealed that more
men were dying of HIV compared to women although more women are
infected by the disease.
this to delay by men to visit health institutions, inconsistent
treatment uptake due to excessive alcohol consumption and smoking
among other reasons.
the Nac, about 207 765 females are on anti-retroviral drugs against
118 476 males.
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