Substance abuse catalyst of HIV prevalence

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Livingstone district AIDS Coordinating Advisor, Steven Ndebele has attributed the high prevalence of HIV in Sakubita area to substance abuse.

Mr Ndebele stated that abuse of alcohol and marijuana were major contributing factors to high HIV prevalence in the area.

He further said Sakubita area in Shungu Ward had limited economic activity and as such residents use that as an excuse to engage in retrogressive behaviour.

Mr Ndebele said this in an interview with ZANIS in Livingstone today.

He however, said condom use in Livingstone significantly increased in the third and fourth quarter of 2013.

Mr Ndebele revealed that 189, 000 male and female condoms were distributed in the third quarter of 2013 and the number increased to 384, 000 in the fourth quarter.

He said this was an indicator that people were getting the HIV sensitization campaign message and taking it seriously, adding that their actions pointed towards positive behavioural change.

Mr Ndebele commended Livingstone based partners involved in the response to HIV and AIDS for covering most parts of the district with sensitization campaigns in a bid to influence positive behavioural change.

Livingstone currently has an HIV prevalence rate of 25.3 percent, which is one of the highest in the country.

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