Patrick Chitumba Herald Reporter
There is a high positivity rate among farming communities in Mashonaland East Province, which is retarding development. The development has been attributed to early child marriages, interchanging of sexual partners and artisanal mining in the province.

In an interview on the sidelines of a media tour of Durlstone Primary School, Macheke area in Murehwa District, National Aids Council (NAC) Mashonaland East provincial coordinator Dr Wifred Dube said the positivity rate was as high as 38 percent in farming communities.

He said the positivity rate was even high in some key populations such as mines and in the sex industry. “We have noted that there is high positivity rate in farming communities in Mashonaland East Province. Studies have shown that a woman can divorce her husband and move into the house next door, and that is a common trend. At the same time, they interchange partners without even knowing their HIV status,” he said.

Dr Dube said they have also intensified the presence of night clinics in Murehwa, Mutoko, Nyamapanda Border Post, Makaha, Mudzi and in artisanal mining communities.

The night clinics , he said  were manned by nurses with specialised training in handling key populations such as truck drivers.

“The night clinics are at the usual Government clinics, but open at night and are manned by trained nurses who can handle ladies of the night, children as young as 12 who are involved in prostitution or are pregnant. These clinics are now very popular in the province,” he said.

Meanwhile, Dema Growth Point in Seke District in Mashonaland East Province is leading in recorded cases of new sexually transmitted infections.

In an interview at Taga Farm, Ward 15, Seke District on Wednesday, Mrs Florence Nyandoro, NAC district aids coordinator said Dema Growth Point had more cases of new and old STI cases in the district.

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