Zimbabwe's adult HIV prevalence rate is continuing its downward trend, showing a drop from 14.1 percent in 2008 to 13.7 percent in 2009, according to new estimates released by the Ministry of Health and Child Welfare.
The 2009 Antenatal Clinic (ANC) Surveillance Survey, based on blood specimens collected from 7,363 pregnant women anonymously screened at 19 clinic sites throughout the country, estimated that 1.1 million Zimbabweans in a probable population of around 11 million were living with HIV.
A slowdown in Zimbabwe's HIV/AIDS epidemic was first observed in the late 1990s and was supported by data from a 2005/06 population-based survey.
The prevalence rate is expected to continue decreasing; investigations have shown that the decline "most likely resulted from a combination of an increase in adult mortality and a decline in HIV incidence, resulting from adoption of safer sexual behaviours", said Dr Douglas Mombeshora, Deputy Minister of Health and Child Welfare.
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