Tuesday, 19 June 2018

KWEKWE HOTBED OF HIV

KWEKWE has the highest HIV prevalence rate in the Midlands province, with the mining town coming second in terms of the HIV and Aids burden to Government at national level, an official has said.

Addressing an HIV and Aids workshop in the Midlands province last Friday, National Aids Council (NAC) Midlands provincial coordinator, Mr Mambewu Shumba, said Kwekwe was the hotbed of HIV in the province and has the most new infections.

“In terms of the HIV and Aids burden, Kwekwe is the highest in the Midlands province and comes second nationally,” he said. Mr Shumba attributed the increase in new infections in Kwekwe to mining activities taking place in and around the district.

“What we have discovered as NAC is that every place where there is gold panning or where artisanal miners are concentrated, there are also high cases of HIV recorded. This is the case with Mberengwa 
district as well as there are mining activities and the prevalence rate is high,” he said.

The provincial NAC co-ordinator said the Midlands province had 177 286 people living with HIV as of January and March this year with just over 133 000 of them on Anti-retro Viral Therapy (ART).

“The HIV prevalence rate is also high between the 15 to 49 age groups,” he said. Mr Shumba said there were low HIV prevalence rates in remote areas such as Binga and parts of Gokwe North where people were still recognising their culture.

“In these areas, we realised that the people still stick to their culture and the one man one wife way of living. In some instances, in Gokwe North, men reportedly ring fence their wives and it’s rare to have a situation where a married woman sees another man outside the marriage.

“In Gokwe North, we had a NAC female member who was putting on jeans, we had to persuade them to allow her to remain part of the educational team panel after villagers initially protested arguing that women in their areas do not put on trousers,” he said.
“But what we discovered is that in these areas, the HIV prevalence rate is very low”. Herald

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