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ZIMBABWE: HIV decline reported in Manicaland

[This report does not necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations]

JOHANNESBURG, 6 February (PLUSNEWS) - Changes in sexual behaviour may have contributed to a decline in HIV/AIDS in Zimbabwe's eastern province of Manicaland, according to experts at Britain's Imperial College London.

A study published in the latest edition of the Journal of Science said HIV prevalence rates had fallen from 23 percent in 1998 to 20.5 percent in 2003, especially among younger groups of men and women.

Researcher Simon Gregson told the British Guardian newspaper, "Although we can't say for certain, fear of HIV and AIDS may have influenced this change in [sexual] behaviour, with Zimbabwe's well-educated population, good communications and health service structure combining to create this effect."

Blood samples taken from about 9,500 respondents indicated that 49 percent fewer women aged 15 to 24 tested positive for HIV, with a 23 percent drop in infections among men in the age group 17 to 29 years.



Recent ZIMBABWE Reports
Youth instrumental in future HIV/AIDS decline - UNICEF,  22/Feb/06
More children abused as situation worsens,  23/Jan/06
Prevention campaigns successful as HIV rate drops,  8/Dec/05
AIDS orphans and vulnerable children bear the brunt of collapsing economy,  15/Nov/05
Greater focus urged on protection of children from HIV,  26/Oct/05
· AIDS Media Center
· The Global Fund to fight AIDS, Tuberculosis & Malaria
· International Community of Women Living with HIV/AIDS
· International HIV/AIDS Alliance

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