Midlands provincial medical director Milton Chemhuru has dismissed as “unwarranted” and “reckless” recent reports that Midlands State University (MSU) students are spreading HIV.
BY OUR CORRESPONDENT
Chemhuru said it was not feasible to categorically assert whether the students were the chief culprits in the spread of the deadly HIV.
He said such claims could be only ascertained after assessing sexual activities of each and every student at the institution.
The university has over 23 000 students.
“It’s wrong to conclude that MSU students are the ones spreading HIV in the province. No study has been done to determine that. The institution has thousands of students on board and it’s not fair, it’s rather reckless to say the students in their entirety are responsible for the surge in the HIV prevalence rate in the region,” Chemhuru said in an interview.
“How can one assess sexual activities of all the students? It’s impossible. It would require an expensive research to determine that and in actual fact, such a research is not feasible”.
Chemhuru was responding to National Aids Council (NAC) co-ordinator Mambewu Shumba’s comments at the launch of the Southern African Aids Trust’s (SAAT) strategic plan for 2015-18.
Shumba told medical practitioners and district administrators that the 20% to 23% increase in HIV prevalence rate from last year was mainly due to reckless sexual behaviour by MSU students.
The report, which has gone viral on social media networks, angered many MSU students who have also taken to social media to defend themselves and the institution.
Many students have challenged NAC to justify its report.
“We need to know how NAC has come to the conclusion that we are the major drivers of the recent increase in the HIV prevalence rate. NAC officials have to tell us how they have conducted their research,” Sharon Hove, a third year Law student at the institution, said.