Midlands not an HIV hotspot, new study shows

Research carried out by AVERT, an international evidence-based HIV and sexual health information organisation has shown that the Midlands province is not a hotspot for new HIV infections and cases of a high rate of defaulters of treatment.

The research has identified Bulawayo, Ruwa, Norton and Chitungwiza as HIV hotspots in the country with the highest number of infected people who are not on treatment.

The study concluded that women living in poorer areas are engaging in early sex which puts them at risk whilst areas that are linked to commercial transport corridors and diamond mining activities are HIV hotspots particularly for men.

According to the study, 230 000 men and 350 000 women lack HIV treatment and care and 22 percent of these people live in the mentioned hotspots which are Harare, Bulawayo, Norton, Ruwa and Chitungwiza.

The study therefore reccommended that these areas must be treated as a priority in terms of HIV targeted prevention and care services.