Harare records 10,000 cases of STIs in three months

HARARE recorded 10,128 cases of Sexually Transmitted Infections (STI) between January and March this year, National Aids Council (NAC) Harare province coordinator, Adonijah Muzondiona has said.

The figure represents a marginal decline compared to the first quarter of 2014 when 10,400 cases were recorded.

Areas such as Highfield, which has seen a huge increase in the number of brothels, and Glen Norah were said to be among the worst affected.

Muzondiona said the latest figures were unacceptably high warning that the capital city was sitting on a time bomb of new HIV infections if people continued having unsafe sex.

“As NAC we are really worried about such incidences because they thwart our efforts towards HIV prevention.

“We hope there will be a sharp decline during the second quarter as we intend to intensify behaviour change programmes across the country,” he said.

According to NAC findings, out of the 12 districts in Harare, the South Western side of the capital including Highfield and Glen Norah tops in the number of STI infections with 1,400 cases.

Out of the 1,324 people who went through HIV testing and counselling in the two districts, 182 tested positive.

In the Southern district, Mbare recorded 1,205 as well as Harare Central.

Muzondiona said rampant sex work was the major driver of new STI infections.

He said there was a sudden rise in the number of brothels in Highfields, adding that this was a matter of grave concern.

Zimbabwe has, over the recent years, been recording alarming statistics of STIs despite massive awareness campaigns by various HIV and Aids groups.

According to NAC, over 50,000 people were infected with STIs between January and June in Harare alone last year.

The STI infections continue to increase despite more condoms being distributed around the country.

The Zimbabwe National Family Planning Council says that in 2014, more than 77 000 000 male condoms and 3 600 000 female condoms were also distributed while an estimated $23 125 000 was spent on the purchase of male condoms.

It further reveals that an estimated amount of more than $2,1 million was also spent on female condoms purchase last year