Currently, the prevalence rate for Bulawayo stand at 18 percent as compared to national prevalence rate which is currently pegged at 13, 7 percent. The current prevalence rate for Beitbridge is 21 percent.
Speaking at an HIV/Aids media workshop in Bulawayo recently, the Bulawayo City Council clinical medical officer, Dr Khulamuzi Nyathi expressed concern over the high HIV prevalence rate in the city.
“As the city’s health department, we are worried about the high HIV prevalence rate in Matabeleland particularly Bulawayo and Beitbridge. What is more worrying is the fact that the prevalence rate in these two cities is far much higher than the national prevalence rate which is currently at 13, 7 percent, “ said Dr Nyathi.
Musa Sibindi, the Matabeleland Aids Council (MAC) Capacity Building Manager, attributed the high infection rate in Beitbridge and Bulawayo to their proximity to the boarder.
“Being a boarder town, Beitbridge is heavily populated. The spread of the disease in such an environment is inevitable especially when we also consider the fact that some truck drivers and cross boarder traders sometimes spent several days at the boarder away from their spouses.” said Sibindi.
It is estimated that about 1, 6 million of the country’s population is living with the HIV virus.