Matabeleland South province has recorded 10 274 cases of sexually transmitted infections (STIs), according to 2018 statistics, making it the worst affected province in the country.
The latest National AIDS Council (NAC) statistics show that STI figures rose from 9890 cases in 2017 to 10 274 in 2018.

The border lying district of Beitbridge had the highest positivity rate of STIs in the province at 3320, while Umzingwane on the other hand recorded 612 cases.

Matabeleland South Provincial Medical Director, Dr Chipo Chikodzore said the province remains a hotspot for STIs, owing to a highly mobile population, among other factors.

“We are always trying to push people to use condoms and have one sexual partner because you will find that in our province, quite a significant number of our population is mobile, they are working across the borders. Their partners are therefore left on their own which put couples at risk,” said Dr Chikodzore.

Meanwhile, Matabeleland South province still has the highest HIV and AIDS prevalence rate in the country, which stands at around 21 percent compared to the national prevalence rate of 15 percent.

In a bid to arrest the epidemic, NAC is running a number of programmes aimed at promoting behavioral change particularly among artisanal miners, truck drivers and commercial sex workers who are at risk of contracting the disease.

In 2018, 3 936 out of 58 514 people who tested for HIV and AIDS came out positive.ZBC