Border towns record highest HIV prevalence rate


BORDER towns in Matabeleland North and South have the highest HIV prevalence rates (new infections) due to transactional sex and mobility to neighbouring countries.


This was disclosed by National Aids Council (NAC) chief executive officer Tapiwa Magure, who yesterday appeared before the Parliamentary Thematic Committee on HIV and Aids chaired by Midlands senator Lilian Timveous (MDC-T).

About 10% of the country’s population is said to live with HIV, with 76 402 new infections, 46 653 HIV
related deaths annually. Close to one million people are on anti retroviral treatment (ARV) and 900 000 Aids orphans.

Matabeleland South registered 21% HIV prevalence, Bulawayo 19%, Matabeleland North 18%, Mashonaland East 16%, Mashonaland West 15%, Midlands 15%, Mashonaland Central 14%, Masvingo 14%, and Harare 13%.

“The high prevalence at border towns can be attributed to a lot of mobility and transactional sex that takes place at border towns such as Victoria Falls and Beitbridge, as well as a lot of informal activities that take place in areas like Tsholotsho and mining towns,” Magure said.

“Almost all of the men in those areas are in Botswana or South Africa and the women that they left behind are also human beings and might engage in unprotected extramarital sex activities.”

Magure said there was also a high prevalence rate in Southern and Eastern Africa as compared to the Northern or Western parts because of strict Islamic laws.

Senators asked NAC to explain why ARVs were finding their way in the streets and in some instances were not accessible to the affected population.

But, NAC said they had reached ARV treatment accessibility of 90% and the new CD4 count of 500 for one to access treatment would result in an increase in the number of people in need of ARV therapy. They said it was necessary to bring to book people illegally selling ARVs adding people should desist from buying drugs from the black market.

According to the NAC monitoring and evaluation director Amon Mpofu, the new ARV treatment regime is also more expensive at $11 for one months’ supply while the previous treatment regime cost $5 per supply.

Harare Metropolitan senator Cleveria Chizema (Zanu PF) alleged there was political chemical warfare where condoms were laced with a substance to make Zimbabweans fail to produce children.

“How safe are the condoms for the nation because we heard there was chemical warfare to eliminate future generations,” Chizema said. But, Magure said the condoms were very safe and all batches were tested by the Medicines Control Authority and NAC which had since acquired condom testing equipment.


  1. why selling ARV’s? it’s for free. here in Zim the Economy is in bloody mess,so especially woman there are forced to do anything, gud example S-AFRICA all clubs maZim ladies chete. it’s very sad wena

  2. “About 10% of the country’s population is said to live with HIV,”
    How is this possible when all the provinces listed in the report have between 13-21% HIV prevalence?? Under-reporting these rates is also very very dangerous!!

  3. Cleveria Chizema is not so clever after all. Too much high on Mahoso conspiracy theories. Next time after reading Mahoso conspiracy theories take a few tablets to normalise your thinking.

  4. point of correction.incidence(not prevalence) is the rate of new infections per populace.prevalence on the other hand is the percentage of people infected per populace. incidence is more accurate in determining effectiveness of HIV interventions.

  5. Th jorno erred,national HIV prevalence is actually 15% not 10%.[according to th Zim Demographic Health Survey 2011-2012 & NAC Estimates]
    Th jorno also erred by saying prevalence means new incidence.Prevalence is th percentage of th population who are HIV positive.Incidence refers to New cases of HIV.
    Also Mpofu from NAC stated that th new ART drug regimen costs 11$,but th cost is borne by NAC(thru Aids Levy) and donor partner(eg Global Fund,US govt).th drugs are given free of charge to clients at government,council and mission health facilities.but if u go to private pharmacies,u obviously pay.
    NAC and Ministry of Health are doing a very good job.mortality and morbidity have gone down,so too has prevalence and incidence.zim has one of the fastest declining HIV prevalence rates in sub saharan africa with 15% prevalence in 2013 compared to 28% in 2000.
    As for the senator abvunza zvema condom ne conspiracy dzake,sending him back to grade zero may help.

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