African Journal of Reproductive Health

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Gender Issues in STIs/HIV/AIDS Prevention and Control: The Case of Four Private Sector Ogranisations in Zimbabwe

Neddy Matshalaga


This article focuses on gender issues in STIs/HIV/AIDS prevention and control in four implementing agencies. The current STIs/HIV/AIDS programme mainly targets workers who in most cases are males, with the hope that they will disseminate any information they obtain to their families. This has however not been the case. Commercial sex workers are the second target group benefiting from special programmes designed to address their particular needs in STIs/HIV/AIDS prevention and control. By targeting male workers and commercial sex workers, the agencies have failed to address married women's issues in STIs/HIV/AIDS prevention and control. Married women who economically depend on their husbands have low decision-making power in STIs/HIV/AIDS prevention. The current `peer' education programmes, which are mainly a domain of commercial sex workers, have failed to reach married women who stigmatise the education as `education for prostitutes'. Field data was collected using focus group discussions in Masvingo, Zimbabwe. (Afr J Reprod Health 1999; 3 [2]: 81-96)

Key Words: Gender, marriage, STIs/HIV/AIDS, prevention, peer, education

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