COVID-19 is said to be increasing vulnerability to HIV infection, increasing the need for Zimbabwe to scale up its fight against the epidemic.
BY PHYLLIS MBANJE
This was revealed by the National Aids Council in its statement to commemorate the World Aids Day tomorrow, which is internationally observed on December 1.
NAC said while the HIV prevalence rate has decreased to around 13,3%, Zimbabwe is still considered as one of the countries with a heavy HIV/Aids burden.
They said COVID-19 has left many people vulnerable, especially young girls that are forced into early child marriages with older partners with a longer sexual history.
“The coming of COVID 19 has increased vulnerability of marginalised groups to HIV. Therefore, the defeat of AIDS as a public health threat depends on how the world responds to COVID-19,”read the NAC statement.
The theme for tomorrow’s international Aids Day is 2020 is Global Solidarity: Shared Responsibility: Ending Aids By 2030.
“The theme comes at a time when Zimbabwe and the world at large are working towards ensuring that by 2030, Aids will no longer be a public health threat. This is achievable if people collectively continue to strive for equality, protection of human rights and zero discrimination,” NAC said.
Meanwhile this year’s commemorations whose guest of honour will be Vice-President Constantino Chiwenga, will be held virtually from the Rainbow Towers, Harare and attendance is strictly by invitation for compliance with COVID-19 regulations regarding public gatherings.
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