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Mberengwa, Shurugwi tops in HIV prevalence

By Denzel Serima

The National Aids Council (NAC) recently revealed that Shurugwi and Mberengwa have the highest HIV/AIDS prevalence in the Midlands province.

NAC Provincial Manager, Mambewu Shumba said that Mberengwa ranked highest in HIV prevalence with at least 21% of its population affected converting to 38465 people out of an estimated total population of 183166.

“Followed by the small town of Shurugwi which has at least 16.7 % of its population who are HIV positive converting to almost 2860 people of the estimated population,” he added.

Shumba said that Gokwe North has the lowest prevalence of the disease with only 2.1 % owing to the sex education they introduced in the town.

“We applaud Gokwe North for taking heed to HIV prevention methods which include condom use, male circumcision and abstinence.

Female sex workers are posing more threats in spreading the virus with 1841 cases recorded followed by discordance of 641 of men having sex with men” he added.

Shumba highlighted that Gokwe North has more public facilities throughout the town as compared to Zvishavane, Kwekwe and Gweru who have private facilities not offering Antiretroviral Therapy (ART).

“The decentralisation of ART centres is yielding results with only 42 418 out of an estimated 180 000 people living with HIV are not receiving ART in the Midlands compared to previous years.

Shumba said that their efforts as NAC were bearing fruit and that they would continue in the fight against HIV/AIDS.

“Our efforts continue to bear fruits as both incidence and prevalence continue to decrease” he added.

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