One Bucket Of Maize Equals To One Round Of Sex: COVID-19 Induced Desperation Stalks Rural Sex Workers in Zimbabwe

THE once thriving profession of sex work has hit rock bottom across the country following a prolonged lockdown period which has seen most public places and beer selling joints being closed for more than a year. By Michael Gwarisa Unlike in the previous period before COVID-19 when sex workers had bargaining power and demand for their services exceeded supply, the COVID-19 induced lockdown has literally made most men realize that family comes first and hiring an escort or sex worker is not a necessity. In the midst of the ongoing…

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Bridging The ART Access Gap During A Pandemic, CATS Hold The Fort In Zimbabwe

WHEN the COVID-19 was reported in Zimbabwe in 2020, government announced a national lockdown with the view of curbing the spread of the virus and limiting community transmissions. In the process other essential health services were also locked down, leaving People Living with HIV (PLHIV) especially young people living with HIV and on Antiretroviral Therapy (ART) at a disadvantage. By Michael Gwarisa recently in Mashonaland East With tight restrictions, fears of young people on ART falling by the wayside were rife as in most cases, young people would shun visiting…

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Condom Use Declines Among Zim Sex Workers As Country Misses 2020 Condom Distribution Target

A total 83 million male condoms and 2.9 million female condoms were distributed in the year 2020, which is a far cry from the 100 million for men and 5.5 million that had been targeted for women during the year. By Michael Gwarisa The target misses were largely attributed to service disruption due to Covid-19. The 2020 figures were the lowest compared to the previous three years. The decline in condom distribution also affected uptake and use of condoms by Female Sex Workers and other HIV high risk groups. Presenting…

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PEPFAR To Spend $360 million On Key Populations

THE United States (US), President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) says it will spend not less than US$360 million on programs meant to support Key Populations in countries where PEPFAR is implementing HIV programs. HealthTimes Reporter The developments come hot on heels of the 2018 International  AIDS Conference which was held in Amsterdam where a number of programs meant to scale up HIV prevention amongst various societal groups were launched. According to PEPPFAR’s fact sheet, the US$360 million injection would go a long in bridging to gaps that exists…

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Zim Launches Prep Strategy…Program targets key populations

ZIMBABWE has launched Pre Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) strategy for 2018 up to 2020 which is aimed at scaling up uptake of the PrEP drug amongst key populations and those at high risk of contracting HIV. By Michael Gwarisa Launching the strategy document, Health and Child Care minister, Dr David Parirenyatwa said Zimbabwe still faced a huge HIV challenge as it is still recording incidence around 32 000 people every year hence the need to increase prevention mechanisms. “Now I am proud to emphasise that we have successfully managed to reduce…

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New Public Health Bill More Progressive- ZLHR

ZIMBABWE Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR) Senior Program manager, Tinashe Mundawarara said the newly gazetted Public Health Bill (PHB) was inclusive of various sections of the society which were side-lined in the old 90 year old document. By Michael Gwarisa Briefing Journalists during media engagement yesterday, Mundawarara said the issue of key populations was touched at a wider length in the new bill even though more still needed to be done to make it a perfect document. “As you might be aware, the ministry of health has managed to push…

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Ignoring Key Populations Threaten 90 90 90 Targets

By Michael Gwarisa  LEAVING key Populations (KPs) behind in HIV/AIDS interventions and programs poses a a threat to the ambitious target of reducing HIV prevalence, deaths and new infections  by the year 2020. In Zimbabwe, KPs mean gay men and other men who have sex with men, sex workers and their clients, transgender people and people who inject drugs as the four main key population groups, but it acknowledges that prisoners and people with Disability also are particularly vulnerable to HIV and frequently lack adequate access to services (ZNASP3 )…

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