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Minister: Homosexuality Fueling HIV Infections in Zimbabwe Prisons

Truvada pills, initially used to treat people with HIV, are a main component of PrEP (pre-exposure prophylaxis), where the drug is used to prevent infection. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)

By Thato Mochone

Health Minister David Parirenyatwa has maintained his stance that the rise of HIV prevalence in prisons is a clear indication prisoners are either locked up when they are infected or this is an indication that homosexuality is rampant in prisons.

His remarks have already been criticized by the Gays and Lesbians Association of Zimbabwe (GALZ).

Parirenyatwa told VOA Studio 7 that it was important for the government to address the prevalence of HIV and AIDS in prisons.

Statistics reveal that HIV prevalence among Zimbabwean prisoners is at 28%.

GALZ said although they welcomed Parirenyatwa’s attitude towards opening a debate on homosexuality, they believe that the issue of HIV and AIDS in prisons has nothing to do with homosexuality.

Parirenyatwa said the government is going to engage with partners in the health sector and open up debate on homosexuality in prisons in order to save lives.