‘Rise In Infections, With 56.4% Commercial Sex Workers HIV Positive’-National Aids Council

Research by the National Aids Council (Nac) indicates that although the national HIV prevalence has been declining in the past two years, it is four times high in other community groups like commercial sex workers.

Nac monitoring and evaluation director Amon Mpofu told Parliamentarians on a countrywide tour and capacity building programme on HIV and Aids interventions that although the prevalence rate nationally stood at 13, 8 percent as of December 31 last year, down from 15,3 the previous year, indications were that 56,4 percent of commercial sex workers were infected.

“It’s sad to note that although we’re making efforts to reduce new infections we still have a problem in other community groups among them commercial sex workers and those in densely populated areas like growth points where the incidents rate is increasing,” said Mpofu.

“We’ve mapped out some of the high risk areas which include Bulawayo, Matabeleland South and Manicaland provinces and research on 1,000 sex workers shows that prevalence rate on sex workers aged between 18 and 24 years stands at 36 percent, 25 to 29 (55 percent), 30 to 39 (69 percent) and those age 40 years and above its 77 percent,” he said.

Mpofu said it was very important for parliamentarians and traditional leaders to play a leading role in formulating effective HIV and Aids intervention policies.

He said it was important for the government to focus on key population areas in the country who needed specific needs in implementing intervention programmes.

“We need to seriously look at sector communities. As Nac we’ll continue providing services and capacity building programmes,” he said. Thupeyo Muleya  source-chronicle


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