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ZIMBABWE: HIV rate falling, but girls still at risk

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

JOHANNESBURG, 11 October (PLUSNEWS) - A recent UNAIDS-led epidemiological review found Zimbabwe's HIV rate declining, but the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) has warned that the news was not necessarily good all round, particularly for girls.

Dr Festo Kavishe, UNICEF's Representative in Zimbabwe, commented, "There is no doubting that a drop in the rate is good news, but a sero-prevalence rate of 20 percent remains extremely high and this is not the moment for complacency."

According to Kavishe, "Four out of five new infections in the 15 to 24 ... age group are among girls, and orphaned girls in Zimbabwe are now three times more likely to contract HIV than their non-orphaned peers."

UNICEF warned that without substantial support, the current positive trends would not be sustainable. "Progress in prevention and in the reduction of orphan numbers can only be made if funding returns to pre-2002 levels," Kavishe said.



Recent ZIMBABWE Reports
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
Teachers urge free ARVs as AIDS thins their ranks,  14/Oct/05
HIV/AIDS drop - behavioural change or skewed statistics?,  10/Oct/05
Le portail d'informations générales de la Côte d’Ivoire
The Global Fund to fight AIDS, Tuberculosis & Malaria
Mothers and HIV/AIDS

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