HIV prevalence in Zimbabwe dropping like a stone
HIV in Zimbabwe is disappearing like ‘snow in the desert’, in dramatic contrast to its neighbouring countries, mystifying epidemiologists, one of whom firmly believes the anomaly can be attributed to the country’s relatively high level of education.
Brian Williams of the South African Centre for Epidemiological Modelling (SACEMA), was speaking at the 2nd Consortium to Respond Effectively to the AIDS/TB epidemic (CREATE), in Cape Town during the first week of November.
He said reliable data showed that HIV/AIDS prevalence in Zimbabwe had halved over the past 12 years, dropping from 30% in 1998 to 15% now.1 He suggested this could be put down to the country’s population having benefited from a superior education that enabled them to ‘absorb and respond to prevention messages’. ‘My theory is that Zimbabwe had the best educated population in southern Africa -- and prevention messages only work if people are able to understand, internalise and act on them,’ he added.
Chris Bateman, HMPG
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Date published: 2011-01-06
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