Bulawayo sees surge in HIV infections

via Bulawayo sees surge in HIV infections 29/09/2014

BULAWAYO has recorded the highest HIV prevalence rate in Zimbabwe in a development that is worrying the government as it battles to halt the spread of the pandemic.

The latest figures were revealed at the Second Annual Symposium on HIV and the Law held in Harare last week.

HIV prevalence in Bulawayo province was said to be at 21.78 percent, which is the highest in the country, while the rate in Mashonaland West stands at 12.4 percent which is the lowest.

Dr Owen Mugurungi, the director of the HIV and TB Unit in the Ministry of Health, attributed this development to poverty and the increase in the unemployment rate in the region.

“We need to interrogate the reasons why it is so, but some of the reasons might be related to migration. We know that in the southern part of the country most people are not together, there is a lot of cross border migration, and that can be one of the reasons,” he said.

“The economy around Bulawayo, we all know that there are social and economic issues around HIV. The more people have challenges the more, they might be able to engage in risky sexual behaviour. But we have not really had a deep analysis of what is really happening.”

According to health records the country’s HIV investments have grown from US$150 million in 2011 to US$260 million in 2013.

Health experts say HIV programmes will need at least $525 million by 2016.

About 1.3 million people are said to be living with HIV in Zimbabwe with 170 717 of these being children.

At present 75 percent of HIV programmes are being funded through a tax collected from workers and administered by the National Aids Council.

Some stakeholders have however raised concerns over how the NCA handles and distributes the Aids levy.

COMMENTS

WORDPRESS: 6
  • comment-avatar
    nyoni 6 years ago

    Isn’t thats the idea. Make one region poorer than the other and then dominate it. Very clever Robert but unfortunately we can see right through you.

    • comment-avatar
      Phunyukabemphethe 6 years ago

      Too many imports into Bulawayo bringing with them HIV. Soon its gonna be Ebola!!

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    Where there is poverty,unemployment and poor education disease and ill health are not far behind.

    It also follows that dictators love poor hungry diseased people . They are easier to manipulate and make their warped Governance easier.

    Why do you think Mugabe and Co address more rallies in rural areas? They are revered more.

    Poor/sick people are more malleable- you can make them sit in dust under the scotching sun having walked miles to wait for you while you eat your breakfast.

    You can give poor people a sack of maize and they will vote for you.

    Creation of poverty and sickness is what makes Dictators thrive

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    Mixed Race 6 years ago

    @lucy-you have some valid points however the poor people in this region are hard to break as witnessed by all elections results.We would rather die than being manipulated in the way we see in some areas of our country.
    As you have rightfully stated that poverty leads to these social evils and disasters,therefore the nation has to blame those who bought and destroyed what used to be the backbone of Bulawayo industries.As a christian I try hard to forgive these misguided,naive and ignorant people for their meaningless actions which destroyed the great City of Kings.
    We breath the same air, therefore our regional man made disasters are likely to affect those who stupidly thought they were fixing this city because the movement of people within the country does spread these diseases to all corners of the nation.Those who live in houses or huts with glass windows should not throw stones,thinking that their own windows are safe.

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    Hilton Moyo 6 years ago

    we need to seriously consider more projects for our youths, sporting activities that can keep them busy and focused. yes, there is no smoke without fire, but we need a solution to our own problems, without much focusing on certain individuals’ weaknesses i.e. politicians & their politics. lets work towards creating small economies for our families(green economies), these will eventually grow to be companies for the benefit of the region & the country @ large.