Economic crisis 'slows AIDS spread' in Zimbabwe

Harare- Zimbabwe (PANA) -- Zimbabwe's long running economic crisis has slowed the spread of HIV/AIDS in the country, a researcher said Monday.
Since 2000, the country has gone through an unprecedented economic crisis which has, among other things, left it with no currency, and forced more than three million of its citizens to emigrate.
Michael Silverman, a Canadian medical doctor and researcher working in Zimbabwe, said the crisis had left men with little disposable incomes to pay for sex with prostitutes or maintain mistresses, two main ways HIV is spread.
As a result, he said research showed the prevalence of HIV in Zimbabwe had fallen from 23 percent in 2001 to 11 percent at the end of last year.
The findings were based on a survey of pregnant women and behaviour patterns among men.
The Health Ministry has also acknowledged the fall in the prevalence of HIV, but attributes this mainly to its awareness campaigns.

27 july 2009 12:18:00

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