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S.e.x workers urged to obey Covid-19 regulations as they are back in business

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S.e.x workers urged to obey Covid-19 regulations as they are back in business. The call was made by Mashonaland West Provincial National Aids Council-Manager David Nyamurera on the sidelines of an Adolescent S.e.xual Reproductive Health (ASRH) meeting that was held at the Family Planning Council offices.

An official with the National Aids Council has urged s.e.x workers to adhere to Covid-19 guidelines and regulations. Nyamurera said they were educating s.e.x workers to approach their constituency and get information.

“As NAC, we continue to urge them to adhere to the lockdown measures put up by the government. “Covid-19 is now with us and in our communities. The nature of their work says you have to be intimate to the partners,” said Nyamukorera. He added:

“So given that scenario, they have to be very careful not to transmit or catch the disease. “We are making sure that they stick to the regulations put on board by the government and also the awareness that we are giving by various stakeholders in the community,” he said.

S.e.x workers have reported harassment and stigma as major barriers to accessing HIV treatment. The current epidemiological evidence clearly shows that if the AIDS epidemic is to be addressed comprehensively and in a sustainable manner, the disproportionately high level of vulnerability to HIV among key populations needs to be addressed.

Unless HIV programmes specifically designed to meet the particular needs of Key Populations are urgently scaled up and structural barriers to their access to HIV and other services are removed, the advances made towards ‘ending AIDS’ so far will be seriously undermined.

Zimbabwe has a decline in HIV incidence rates from 2.63 percent in 2000 to 0.88 percent in 2015 and a further down to 0.48 percent (ZIMPHIA) with an annual new infection of 87 000 people in 2000 to 64 000 in 2015 most possibly due to the scale-up of various prevention and treatment programmes.

Still, HIV prevalence remains stabilized around 15 percent average, predominantly affecting women showing prevalence higher at 18 percent than among men at 12 percent ( ZIMPHIA) 2016.

Source – H-Metro

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