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Women in Zimbabwe Account for 60 Percent of Those Living With HIV/AIDS

  • Sithandekile Mhlanga

Women's Affairs Minister Olivia Muchena said the stigma associated with and discrimination resulting from an HIV positive status, and fear of violence from partners, often deter women from obtaining proper care

A survey by the Zimbabwean Ministry of Women’s Affairs, Gender, and Community Development has found that 60 percent of the 1. 2 million Zimbabweans living with HIV or suffering from full-blown AIDS are women, attributing this disproportionate burden to social, cultural and religious factors that continue to make women women more vulnerable.

The state-run Herald newspaper quoted Women's Affairs Minister Olivia Muchena as saying that the stigma associated with and discrimination resulting from an HIV positive status and fear of violence from partners often deter women from obtaining HIV testing and counseling, treatment to prevent mother-to-child transmission of HIV, and other services.

Elizabeth Sibanda, Matabeleland North field officer for the Zimbabwe National Network for People Living with HIV and AIDS, told reporter Sithandekile Mhlanga that domestic violence by men often renders women powerless to prevent transmission and obtain treatment.

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