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Abstinence fuels huge HIV drop, study shows

A new Harvard study from Zimbabwe has shown that a 50% drop in HIV prevalence was driven primarily by changes in sexual behavior.

  • Zimbabwe
  • February 16, 2011
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A new Harvard study from Zimbabwe has shown that a 50% drop in HIV prevalence was driven primarily by changes in sexual behavior, particularly a drop in casual, commercial, and extramarital sex.

“In Zimbabwe, as elsewhere, partner reduction appears to have played a crucial role in reversing the HIV epidemic,” wrote Daniel Halperin, PhD, of the Harvard School of Public Health, and colleagues, Lifesite News reports.

The study, published this month at PLoSMedicine.org, was commissioned by the UNFPA and UNAIDS.

The researchers found that the change in behaviour was motivated by fear of the infection, stemming from the country’s high rate of AIDS mortality. They say it was amplified by economic decline because men had less money to pay for sex or to maintain multiple sexual relationships.

The researchers suggest that Zimbabwe has been more successful than other African countries in fighting AIDS because it has high levels of marriage and secondary education.

SOURCE

Huge drop in Zimbabwe HIV rate fuelled by rise in abstinence, fidelity: UNAIDS-funded study (Lifesite News)
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