Source: Adult HIV prevelance marginally drops – NewsDay Zimbabwe
BY VANESSA GONYE
ZIMBABWE’s HIV prevalence rate among the 15-49 age group has declined marginally to 12,78% compared to 13,79% recorded in 2015, National Aids Council (Nac) chief executive Bernard Madzima has said.
But the prevalence rate among young women remains double that of their male counterparts, Madzima revealed during the 2021 Zimbabwe mini Biomedial HIV Prevention Forum conference held in Harare on Monday.
“According to 2018 HIV estimates (Nac, Health ministry and UNAids, 2019), the prevalence rate among adults aged 15-49 years declined from 13,79% in 2015 to 12,78% in 2018. The prevalence among young females is almost twice the HIV prevalence among their male peers,” Madzima said.
“New infections among adults of 15+ years and children declined nationally. The national HIV estimates for 2015-2018 also show age variations in which adults 15-49 years have a higher prevalence (12,78%) than children aged 0-14 years (1,46%). For the age group 15-24 years, prevalence among females is almost twice that of males (ZNAPS IV 2021-2025).”
Community Working Group on Health (CWGH) director Itai Rusike said women remained exposed to HIV infection owing to vices like child marriages.
“During the COVID-19 pandemic, this has been exacerbated by lockdowns and prolonged periods being out of school, which has led to early marriages, gender-based violence and reduced enrolment of girls in school increasing their vulnerability,” Rusike said.
Data from UNAids shows that around 5 500 young women aged between 15 and 24 become infected with HIV weekly globally.