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Kariba fishing camps; place for sex-for-fish barter trade exposing folk to STIs and HIV

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By Staff Reporter

THE National Aids Council (NAC) has raised concern over an upsurge in the prevalence of incidents, whereby married men and women have multiple concurrent sexual partners.

The phenomenon, just like among mining and farming communities, is rife at fishing camps dotted around the iconic Kariba Dam, a place famous for kapenta fishing, and lately infamous for sex-for-fish barter trade.

Prostitution in fishing camps has led to high cases of new HIV infections as well as sexually transmitted infections (STIs).

NAC Mashonaland West provincial manager, Innocent Nyamurera, told the media weekend that although no empirical studies have been conducted, cases of spousal sharing remain a major concern.

“NAC has peer educators in those area, and the Ministry of Health, in conjunction with NAC, is conducting opportunistic infection (OI) and antiretroviral therapy (ART) outreaches every quarter,” said Nyamurera

There is also a mobile clinic each quarter.

“We also hold community dialogues on spousal sharing. This is a silent phenomenon, and our programme inferential data informs us that it exists, but we haven’t had an empirical study on it but it’s on cards.

“I do not have the current statistics though the incidents are still low but with the current behaviour we are likely to realise some disaster in future and all our efforts over the years will be watered down.”

Nyamurera added that outsiders who come into the area for fish and barter trade with sex, expose local folk to STIs and HIV.

“Other social ills like child marriage resulting in school dropouts are also experienced.”