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February 12, 2011

Fear factor in Aids breakthrough

Times LIVE, Zimbabwe: "'Given the continuing, and worrying, trend for high HIV/Aids infection rates in many sub-Saharan African countries, we felt it was important to understand why the disease has taken such a dramatic downturn in Zimbabwe. Very few other countries around the world have seen reductions in HIV infection and of all African nations, Zimbabwe was thought least likely to see such a turnaround. This is why there was such an urgent need to understand its direct and underlying causes,' said Professor Simon Gregson, who was part of the research team based at the School of Public Health at Imperial College London. ...

"Zimbabwe had one of the highest HIV/Aids rates in the world over a decade ago. But these infection rates have been halved from 29% in 1997 to 16% in 2007. This happened amid massive social, political and economic instability. In 2003 Zimbabwe was estimated to have 1.8-million people infected out of a population of 12-million.

"The study further stated that the difficult economic environment played a key role in ensuring that men reduced the number of multiple concurrent partners, as this meant digging more into their wallets."