September 25, 2009
Zimbabwe's estimated HIV infection rate has dropped to 13.7 percent in people ages 15-49, down from 14.1 percent last year, said Health Minister Henry Madzorera. However, concerted efforts are needed to push the rate down further, he said. "We have to redouble our efforts and commitment and keep the sense of hope that indeed one day we will get to the single digit prevalence," Madzorera was quoted by the state-run NewZiana news agency as saying. Zimbabwe is one of a few countries in the world to have recorded a sharp decline in HIV prevalence. In 1999, the country's prevalence stood at 33 percent. While government and donor-supported prevention campaigns have made inroads in cutting infection rates, Zimbabwe's economic collapse has also made it more difficult for people to maintain multiple sex partners.