21 November 2012

Zimbabwe: HIV/Aids Infections Fall

Zimbabwe has witnessed a drop in HIV/Aids related infections as risk behaviour has been lessened with the improvement of the economy since the formation of the inclusive Government.

According to Professor Simon Gregson, head of research at the Bio Medical Research and Training Institute, "trends in general risk behavior have dropped compared to the 2008 and 2009 period were hyperinflation and economic decline resulted in some women engaging in risky behaviour so as to feed their families".

With industry closures and inflation hovering over 500 billion percent under President Mugabe's rule, women and girls were pushed into prostitution to earn a living.

The number of people living with HIV/AIDS peaked at 24.6% in 1997 before falling steadily to 14.3% in 2010, according to the BMRT research.

Currently HIV/AIDS prevalence is pegged at around 13.2% according to figures released by the National Aids Council (NAC) on Tuesday.

Freeman Dube, Head of the National Aids Council (NAC) Department of Monitoring and Evaluation, said that the purpose of the research was to come out with findings focusing on Prevention of Mother to Child Transmittion (PMCT) Anti Retroviral Therapy (ART) and Loss to Follow Up studies.

"The main reason for the study is to share findings on why children are still born with the HIV virus and Anti Retroviral Therapy among other HIV/AIDS related issues. The findings will be taken to policy makers for further consideration since it is imperative towards the fight of the pandemic," said Dube.

The Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) policy on Health, says that Zimbabweans have the right to quality health care and reiterates that no prospects for development will be realized if the population suffers from ill health, and if visitors and investors alike are not assured of access to quality health care. The party is working on improving economic policies to reduce poverty and access to healthcare through the health transition fund.

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