A SENIOR government official has disclosed that the majority of HIV-positive women in Masvingo were scared of disclosing their status to their partners, fearing their marriages could break up.
Report by Nqobile Bhebhe
Addressing a two-day media workshop in Masvingo yesterday, acting provincial medical director Kudzai Masinire said non-disclosure was rampant in the province.
“Last year, we conducted an operational research in the province and realised that men are not keen to go for HIV tests and if they do, it is often too late,” he said.
“However, women who go for tests and whose results indicate they are HIV positive are scared to disclose to their patterns. The major reason they highlight is that they fear their marriages might collapse.”
Masinire said in most cases, women were not too sure how their husbands would react after learning of their statuses. As a result, the majority were going for tests without the knowledge of their spouses.
He said non-disclosure, motivated by the socio-economic issues, was a major challenge and was contributing to the spread of the disease.
The country has approximately 1,2 million people living with HIV and Aids, with half of them on anti-retroviral therapy. The 2011 United Nations General Assembly Political Declaration on HIV and Aids came out with 10 targets to eradicate the disease.
Some of the targets include the reduction of sexual transmission of HIV by 50% by 2015, cutting down HIV transmission among people who inject drugs by the same percentage and reach out to 15 million people with ARVs by 2015.
The targets also include eliminating stigma and discrimination against people living with and affected by HIV through the promotion of laws and policies that ensure the full realisation of all human rights and fundamental freedoms.