Drug Resistant Gonorrhea Stalks Zimbabwe- NAC

A rare type of Gonorrhea  which is most prevalent in South Africa has found its way into  Zimbabwe  at the back increased cross boarder activity and inter country travel by Zimbabweans, a top National Aids Council (NAC) official has said.

By Michael Gwarisa

Speaking during an Elimination of Mother to Child Transmission of HIV (EMTC) workshop in Harare, NAC’s District Aids Coordinator (DAC) for Harare, Mrs Agnes Dembedza said even though Zimbabweans was doing well in terms of managing HIV infections, more Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs) were still being recorded.

We are now having incidences and reports of a drug resistant type of Gonorrhea being reported in Zimbabwe. Where is this Gonorrhea coming from you may ask? The origins of this Gonorrhea are in South Africa and now it is in Zimbabwe because we travel a lot into Messina, Johannesburg and other parts of South Africa. We are going to South Africa, engaing in intercourse and returning into Zimbabwe and spreading this Gonorrhea here in Zimbabwe and it is now drug resistant.

“Masvingo is the number one province in Zimbabwe with the highest number of STIs out of the 10 provinces in the country. The second highest in terms of Gonorrhea prevalence is Harare Metropolitan province. We have a lot to do in terms of reducing STIs, we have to do something as a people to prevent the spread of STIs and this drug resistant Gonorrhea,” said Mrs Dembedza.

According to the National AIDS Council (NAC) statistics, Chiredzi in Masvingo has the highest STI prevalence in Masvingo province and in 2018, a total 800 STIs were recorded in women and young girls in Chiredzi district. In Chiredzi, the re-opening of Chigarapasi beer has led to a spike in HIV and STI infections.

Mr Dembedza also called on young people especially young men not to use virginity as a standard to measure HIV status but rather encourage their sexual partners to go for HIV testing as some girls who date elderly men and sugar daddies are reportedly getting infected through oral sex.

“The more sexual partners you have and the more times you change sexual partners, you are putting yourself at risk of STI and HIV infection. Unfortunately, some don’t use condoms, let us use condoms regularly. If condoms are used correctly and consistently, they can be effective. From the researches we have done in tertiary institutions, we gathered that most sugar daddies prefer oral sex when they are engage young college and university students.

“It is believed the sugar daddies prefer oral sex because they say it makes them reach their climax early. However, these very same girls will want to marry a young men after college and most young men just believe if a girl is virgin, she cannot be HIV positive only to discover that probably she would have gotten infected during oral sex in college by her sugar daddy. Being a virgin nowadays is not a guarantee that one is not HIV positive or is not infected. An HIV test is very crucial, let us not visually HIV test on our loved ones, lets get tested.”

Meanwhile, according to the  second Zimbabwe Population-based HIV Impact Assessment survey (ZIMPHIA 2020), the rate of annual new HIV infections among adults in Zimbabwe is 0.38 percent (0.54 percent among women and 0.20 percent among men) or approximately 31,000 persons over a year.

The prevalence of HIV among adults was 12.9 percent, which corresponds to approximately 1.23 million adults in Zimbabwe living with HIV in 2020. Generally, the survey found that HIV prevalence was higher among women than men (15.3 percent vs. 10.2 percent).










Related posts