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Zimbabwe Health Officials Warn on Resurgence in Sexually Transmitted Diseases

Anti-retroviral medication is a precious commodity in South Africa
Anti-retroviral medication is a precious commodity in South Africa

Health Ministry AIDS chief Dr. Owen Mugurungi told a Zimbabwe Aids Network conference in Nyanga that Zimbabwe risks losing ground in the battle against HIV/AIDS if gains against the disease lead to complacency

Though Zimbabwe has made notable gains in the fight against HIV/AIDS as measured by the country's HIV prevalence or infection rate, health officials are worried a resurgence in sexually transmitted diseases could be a harbinger of a new wave of HIV infections due to complacency.

The head of the Health Ministry's unit for AIDS and Tuberculosis, Dr. Owen Mugurungi, told a Zimbabwe Aids Network annual conference in Nyanga this weekend that Zimbabwe could lose ground in its battle against HIV.

Reached by VOA, Dr. Mugurungi said he could not provide specific data, but said awareness programs must be stepped up to prevent an HIV rebound.

"There are emerging issues in ante-natal care on prevalence of (sexually transmitted diseases) and if we are not careful, in the next survey we might record an increase in prevalence," Dr Mugurungi said.

National Aids Council Executive Director Tapuwa Magure told VOA Studio 7 reporter Sandra Nyaira he is also concerned by increasing STD reports.