Livingstone records over 6000 STIs in 2013

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—–Livingstone recorded over 6000 sexually transmitted infections (STIS) last year 2013.

Livingstone District Medical Officer Cliff Hara disclosed today that the district recorded 6011 STIs in 2013 with 4,534 people testing HIV positive in the same year.

Dr Hara lamented that the highest STI increase was recorded between 2012 and 2013.

He said 3,998 cases of STIs were recorded in 2011, 4752 in 2012 and 6011 cases were recorded in the year 2013.

“There was a sharp rise from 2012 to 2013 even when 2012 was not part of the UNWTO General Assembly which was co-hosted by Livingstone and neighboring Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe,” he said.

Dr Hara said this during a presentation he made at a meeting held to integrate HIV and Gender issues in Environmental Assessments, organized by the National AIDS Council in Livingstone.

He further said during the period under review, 4765 people tested HIV positive in 2011, 4953 tested HIV positive in 2012 while 4534 were found to be positive last year.

“There was a drop in the number of new cases last year but we do not have an explanation for that. If anything, we expected an increase in the number of people testing HIV because of the high number of people with STIs during that period,” he said.

In terms of eligibility for Anti-Retroviral Therapy (ART), Dr Hara said 1217 were eligible in 2012, 1964 in 2012 and 1200 for the year 2013.

“As for the cumulative HIV cases during the same period, we had 12570 in 2011, 15231 in 2012 and 20397 people on ART in Livingstone. That is why we have the highest HIV prevalence rate in the country at 25 percent,” he said.