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'Promiscuous' students shun condoms

by Staff Reporter
22 Jun 2014 at 08:01hrs | Views
INSTITUTIONS of Higher and Tertiary education in Zimbabwe have the highest rate of new HIV and AIDS infections, the National AIDS Council has said.

In an interview on the sidelines of the training of HIV and AIDS focal persons in tertiary institutions in Kwekwe last week, NAC National Youth coordinator, Mrs Beauty Nyamwanza said most of the new HIV and AIDS infections were starting at tertiary institutions.

"It has been discovered that most new infections are starting at tertiary institutions.

 NAC has introduced the training of HIV and AIDS focal persons at tertiary institutions to provide technical guidance to young people particularly those in their first years.

We want the tertiary institutions to provide a comprehensive programme to conscientise students on sexual reproduction. The aim is to ensure that students have adequate information when it comes to issues of HIV and AIDS," she said.

Speaking during the same training, Ministry of Higher and Tertiary Education, Science and Technology HIV and AIDS National Coordinator, Mrs Evangelista Matipano said tertiary institutions were the peak of HIV infections. She bemoaned rampant cases of students' sexual abuse by lecturers and other authorities in tertiary institutions.

"Tertiary institutions are the peak of HIV infections. Some of the major contributing factors are poverty, peer pressure and drug abuse.

Students' sexual abuse has become a cause for concern. We know of the 'thigh for a pass' in tertiary institutions whereby lecturers demand sex from students in exchange for high marks or other favours," she said.

Mrs Matipano said there was growing resistance to use of condoms by young people.
"We are facing serious resistance to use of public sector condoms by young people. They regard them as cheap quality and they are reluctant to use them resulting in them getting infected," she said.

According to statistics released by NAC there are 1 384 254 people living with HIV in the country and about 900 000 on Anti-retroviral treatment (ART). The country also records 46 653 HIV and AIDS related deaths annually.

Source - Sunday News