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Sunday 25 December 2005
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ZIMBABWE: AIDS decline should not warrant complacency - UNAIDS


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


JOHANNESBURG, 12 October (PLUSNEWS) - UNAIDS stressed on Tuesday that while the decline in Zimbabwe's HIV/AIDS prevalence and incidence is "encouraging," role players need to ensure that the downward trend is sustained.

According to a recent preliminary review of the country's pandemic, to be published in December, prevalence rates among expectant mothers had dropped from 24.6 percent to 21.3 percent since 2000.

The agency said the lower rate was possibly due to increased condom use, and individuals having fewer sexual partners.

However, UNAIDS warned that infection rates could start rising again if factors contributing to unsafe sexual behaviour, such as gender inequality, poverty and population mobility, were not sufficiently addressed, and called for continued vigilance in Zimbabwe, where HIV prevalence rates were still among the highest in the world.

[ENDS]

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