Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) are on the rise in Shamva district largely due to apathy, unprotected sex and multiple partners.
National Aids Council (NAC) district AIDS coordinator Mr Sharpard Zanamwe said sexual violence was the major driver of the rise in STIs.
“The high prevalence of sexual violence, which is mainly perpetrated on the girl child, is contributing to an increase in the number of STI cases,” he said.
“We have a problem of HIV, but the major problem is STIs.
“The socio-economic background of this district is that it relies on small-scale mining. Most of the HIV hotspots are in the southern part of the district.
“Females are the ones who are mostly affected because they are vulnerable to sexual violence. Sexual violence is sometimes caused by relatives, and most families find it hard to report such cases.”
Mr Zanamwe said they were also concerned that the boy child should not be left behind and were working at introducing the brother-to-brother initiative to equip them with knowledge on sexual reproductive health and HIV among others.
Mr Zanamwe said Shamva district is rated as a medium-to-high risk zone for HIV, with several hotspots due to mining activities.
“The HIV prevalence rate is 12,3 percent according to 2017 national estimates,” he said.
“We have an estimated population of about 16 647 people living with HIV according to data availed by the Ministry of Health and Child Care.
Our antiretroviral treatment coverage in terms of adults is 87 percent and in children it is 108 percent according to 2017 national estimates.”