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Study Examines Reasons for Zimbabwe's HIV Prevalence Decline

February 9, 2011

Reuters reports that an article published in PLoS Medicine "said Zimbabwe's [HIV] epidemic was one of the biggest in the world until the [prevalence of people] infected with HIV almost halved, from 29 percent of the population in 1997 to 16 percent in 2007." The researchers' findings "show that Zimbabweans have primarily been motivated to change their sexual behaviour because of increased awareness about AIDS deaths, which heightened their fears of catching the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) that causes it." The news service writes that the findings offer "important lessons on how to fight the AIDS epidemic in the rest of Africa, scientists said on Tuesday." The Imperial College's Simon Gregson, who was part of the study said, "Very few other countries around the world have seen reductions in HIV infection, and of all African nations, Zimbabwe was thought least likely to see such a turnaround" (Kelland, 2/9).

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