STIs wreak havoc in Bulawayo as residents indulge in unprotected s.e.x. The province recorded an increase during the third quarter which stretches from July to September were a total of 2 930 and women accounted for 1 857 of these cases.
Bulawayo recorded 7 455 s.e.xually transmitted infections (STIs) during the first nine months of 2020 with reports that women accounted for 63 per cent of the cases.
STIs are infections that can be passed through s.e.xual activity and sometimes during childbirth and they include syphilis, gonorrhoea, chlamydia, hepatitis, chancroid and the human papillomavirus which causes cervical cancer.
Medical experts say STIs should be treated early to prevent many negative outcomes including infertility in both men and women. Early detection and treatment are important for s.e.xually active people and for pregnant women so they do not pass on infections to unborn babies. Statistics from the National Aids Council show that Bulawayo has continued to record an increase in the number of new STI in both s.e.xes.
During the first quarter, 957 men got infected compared to 1 678 females. The figures went down for both men and women as 679 and 1 193 cases were recorded respectively during the second quarter. Of the total 7 455 men and women who acquired STIs during the nine months, 484 of them were also found to be HIV-positive and 306 of them were women.
“The province recorded an increase in the number of new STI in both s.e.xes. Although it is noted that the number of new STI cases is increasing across the quarters, there is a gap on the testing of STI clients for HIV and contact tracing as these numbers are way less than the total number of new STI clients,” said Nac.
The council also noted that despite the high STIs figures recorded in Bulawayo, 836 236 cond0ms were distributed in the province.
“Cond0m distribution only dropped in the second quarter which could be attributed to the Covid-19 lockdown restrictions but went up in the third quarter due to relaxation of restrictions. A total of 836 236 male and female cond0ms were distributed during the same period.”
According to Nac, the Covid-19 lockdown also affected the uptake of the voluntary medical male circumcision (VMMC) which is one the scientifically proven HIV prevention measures being rolled out to avert new infections in the country.
“The VMMC programme was significantly hampered by Covid-19 with a total of 67 males circumcised and all HIV-negative during the third quarter.”
Source – MyZimbabweNews
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