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Silver Lining to Zimbabwe Economic Collapse As HIV Prevalence Declines

New research suggests the rate at which Zimbabweans have been infected with the HIV/AIDS virus slowed as a result of the country's precipitous economic decline – but the same study also found that tuberculosis has reached alarming levels in the country.

The research by Canadian infectious disease expert Dr. Michael Silverman sampled more than 18,000 pregnant women and found that the HIV prevalence rate - the percentage of the sample testing positive - fell to 11% in late 2008 from 23% in 2001.

Dr. Silverman presented his findings recently at an HIV/Aids conference in Cape Town.

He told reporter Sandra Nyaira of VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe that hard economic times apparently discouraged people from seeking relationships outside their marriages – though general behavior changes and deaths from AIDS contributed to the decline.

More reports from VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe...