PSI Country Director for Zimbabwe Louisa Norman said constant use of condoms in Zimbabwe was the major contributor to the country’s reduced HIV prevalence which was now at 13.7% from over 28% five years ago.
“Over the past five years a staggering 268.5 million male condoms were distributed through 12.000 private sector outlets leading to the reduction of the country’s HIV prevalence over the period.
In one of the most successful female condom programmes a total of 10 million care female condoms were also sold over the same period.
A total of 1,9 million individuals were also counselled and tested for HIV,” she said.
She said the New Start was expecting its 2 millionth client to be tested this month.
In an effort to further reduce the HIV prevalence rate to reach a single digit Zimbabwe has joined the growing list of countries in Southern Africa that is pushing for adult men to get circumcised. Studies have shown that men without a foreskin were 60 ‘per cent’ less likely to catch HIV.
AIDS specialists say the foreskin has more cells that are easier for HIV to infect. The findings have sparked a regional drive to make circumcision a routine party of prevention efforts.