Zimbabwe recorded nearly 200,000 new se_xually transmitted infections (STIs) in the first eight months of this year, the ministry of health and child care has indicated.

Over two million people were tested between January and August this year, ministry official Sinokuthemba Xaba revealed this Monday. He was speaking at a National Aids Council (NAC) research dissemination symposium which was held in Harare. According to Xaba, from the two million people tested, some 178,757 STI cases were reported. “66,266 (72 percent) of those counselled were tested for HIV.

Positivity rate was 10 percent (6 664),” he said.

STIs such as syphilis, gonorrhoea and herpes appear to increase the risk of acquiring and transmitting HIV.

Although there are still thousands awaiting initiation on anti-retroviral drugs, Zimbabwe has huge made strides in improving treatment to those who need it with at least 800,000 accessing the lifesaving treatment.

Xaba said approximately 1,5 million Zimbabweans are living with HIV with 41 percent being male and 59 percent females while some 149,000 children are also positive.

The health ministry says, together with stakeholders, it has been working towards eliminating new HIV infections which remain high.

Among the prevention strategies implemented is treatment as prevention, voluntary medical male circumcision, use of transmission prevention tools such as condoms and microbicides as well as behaviour change.

Government is looking to increase the percentage of the population aware of its HIV status from 50 percent for women and 40 percent for men to 90 percent between 2014 and 2020.



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