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AIDS Anal Afr. 1999 Apr-May;9(6):13-6.

HIV / AIDS in Zimbabwe.



Conducted in 1997, Zimbabwe's most recent sentinel survey of women attending antenatal clinics found HIV seroprevalence rates ranging from 7% in the rural area of Karirangwe, to a maximum of 50.8% in Buhera, another rural area. Infection rates in the border towns of Beitbridge (46%), Mutare (37.7%), and Victoria Falls (42.6%) confirm that such towns and adjacent areas remain significant epicenters of the HIV/AIDS epidemic. On the basis of these results, the NACP estimates that at least 24% of Zimbabwe's total population is infected. The ongoing increase in HIV prevalence rates in Zimbabwe will lead to increased morbidity and mortality in the years ahead. Survey data indicate that while more than 90% of men and women are aware of HIV, condoms are reportedly available in 88% of peripheral health centers, and condom use has increased, less than 10% of women with a regular partner insist upon condom use. With a weak government response to the HIV/AIDS epidemic, Zimbabwean society is responding in a number of different ways, albeit inadequately. Current economic and political crises in Zimbabwe are only exacerbating the country's already dire predicament vis-a-vis HIV/AIDS.

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