Mbizvo, Michael T., Seter Siziya, Jide Olayinka, and Susan E. Adamchak. 1997. Knowledge of STIs and AIDS, Risk Awareness, and Condom Use in Zimbabwe. DHS Further Analysis Reports No. 22. Calverton, Maryland, USA: Macro International
HIV/AIDS continues to pose a serious health and social threat Zimbabwe. Incidence is high, and the disease has made inroads into all segments of the population, among groups not usually considered to be at high risk. Care of those infected with HIV/AIDS and with related disease such as tuberculosis is placing a heavy burden on already limited resources within the health sector.
The first cases of HIV/AIDS were reported in Zimbabwe in 1987. Although initial response to the disease was slow, public officials and medical personnel soon realized the potential severity of the problem and launched public information campaigns. Generally, the messages promoted in the first campaign cautioned people to avoid prostitutes, use condoms, and stay with a stay with a single sexual partner. They did not acknowledge the frequency of sexual exchanges that often take place among men and women, not as prostitution, but as a mutually beneficial relationship sometimes of long standing (Vos, 1994). They also did not attempt to overcome the negative image of condoms, their association with illicit, possibly contaminating intercourse, or that women are culturally constrained from demanding condom use. Inadequate attention was given to the implications of one partner accepting monogamy and faithfulness and hence believing they were protected from infection, while the other maintained a pattern of multiple and frequent partners. Another flaw was the failure to acknowledge the possibly of past exposure to infection before deciding that a partner in serial monogamy was free from infection.