THE National Aids Council (Nac) has officially launched HIV prevention models which mainly focus on prostitution by young girls, women and artisanal miners in Mashonaland Central province.
BY SIMBARASHE SITHOLE
Speaking on behalf of Mashonaland Central Provincial Affairs minister Monica Mavhunga, provincial medical director Cremence Tshuma said Nac would fund implementation of the four models — Key Population, Start Awareness Support Action (SASA) and Determined, Resilient, Empowered, Aids free, Mentored Safe girls (DREAMS) and Community Adolescent Treatment Supporters (CATS).
“In 2020, the National Aids Council in Mashonaland Central province will facilitate the implementation of the four HIV prevention models, namely key populations, which will focus more on young girls and women selling sex and artisanal miners in Bindura, Mazowe and Mt Darwin,” Mavhunga said.
“SASA focuses on addressing factors that fuel gender-based violence (GBV) in communities. This will be done in Shamva and Muzarabani. DREAMS model focuses on empowering the girl child through education. Nac will support the programme in Guruve, Rushinga, Bindura and Shamva districts.
“CATS model focuses on supporting adolescents living with HIV, Nac will support the programme in Bindura, Shamva, Rushinga and Guruve districts.”
Mavhunga said targeting of the geo-location and intended beneficiaries was done through geo-spatial modelling, a technique that uses available data sets to determine areas of risky behaviour that may lead to HIV infections and other sexually transmitted infections.
“The data source for modelling includes routine programme data, surveys and or operations research and data from MiCS [Multiple Indicator Cluster Surveys] 2019, Zimbabwe Demographic Health Survey 2015, and ZIMPHIA 2016,” Mavhunga said.
Nac provincial manager Edgar Muzulu urged other stakeholders to take the models to all corners of the province.
“We are hoping that every stakeholder here will carry the message to all corners of the province and we are sourcing funds to make a follow up on whether the models have been put in practice,” Muzulu said
Last week, the Global Fund revealed that girls and young women were eight times more likely to be infected than their male counterparts due to early marriages, GBV and failure to negotiate for safe sex.
According to the Health ministry, Zimbabwe has 1,3 million people living with HIV, while there are nearly 35 000 new infections every year.