A review of interprovincial variations in HIV prevalence rates in Zimbabwe
Despite the proven remarkable decline of HIV prevalence in the sub-Saharan Africa region, both sub-regional and within-country disparities in HIV prevalence persist. This paper is a survey of literature on HIV prevalence and spread in Zimbabwe, focusing on provincial differences within the national picture of a decline in new infections. In particular, it raises the question of why prevalence and infection rates seem to be disproportionately higher in Matabeleland relative to other provinces of the country. This disparity cannot be adequately explained on the basis of national behavioural analyses as has been the case. The paper suggests possible additional nuances in the forms of analysis and proposes a change of focus in HIV-prevention strategies from national level to provincial considerations of the multiple factors influencing variations in HIV infection rates at provincial level. Using the different contextual conditions between provinces as a way to examine what might be the additional significant variables, the paper brings variations that go beyond sexual behaviour.
Keywords: disparities, HIV/AIDS, infection, behavioural change, ethnic group, provincial