Men still not keen on HIV testing, using condoms, seeking treatment-NAC Mr Edgar Muzulu

Fungai Lupande Mashonaland Central Bureau

Men remain skeptical of seeking health services and remain at a low rate on HIV testing, condom use, circumcision and enrolment on antiretroviral drugs, a gender assessment report by the National AIDS Council has revealed.

The gender assessment report says this is because most of the focus on HIV response has been on females.

Speaking at the launch of the report over the weekend, NAC Mashonaland Central Provincial Manager Mr Edgar Muzulu said: “Traditionally, interventions have treated women and children as victims leaving out men. Low involvement of men resulted in failure to scale up prevention interventions.

“The impact is that we are failing to reach the required levels in prevention strategies because of the gap. This strategy is meant to close this gap and bring everyone aboard.”

Mr Muzulu said in sub-Saharan African countries, most societies are patriarchal in nature leaving young girls and women vulnerable and disadvantaged.

He said the gender assessment report highlights the gaps that were documented which include cultural norms and traditional practices.

“We need to introspect and this report seeks to identify how best to close these gaps and bring positive change and remove vulnerability and bring equality which leads to access to health service resulting in quality investment in interventions,” he said.

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