HIV's impact in Zimbabwe explored in new research

Aug 28, 2007

The impact of HIV in Zimbabwe since the early 1980s is explored in new research published this week in the journal PNAS.

Researchers found that HIV’s impact on Zimbabwe’s population as a whole has not been quite as severe as some predicted in 1989, when a group of epidemiologists at a World Health Organisation meeting modelled its potential effects. Some of the models they created suggested that the population of Zimbabwe might start shrinking, with more people dying than being born.

The new research shows that the population of the country continues to grow. However, in the worst affected areas, HIV has reduced the level of population growth by two thirds, from 2.9% to 1.0% each year.

The study is the first to look in detail at the demographic impact of HIV in Zimbabwe. The researchers, from Imperial College London and the Biomedical Research and Training Institute in Harare, focus on an area in the Manicaland region in the east of Zimbabwe over the period 1998 – 2005.

They show that the crude death rate was double what it would have been in the absence of HIV and the birth rate was somewhat lower. The death rate was approximately three times higher in the towns and estates, and twice as high in the villages, as it would have been without HIV.

Amongst those aged 15-54, approximately one person in every three in towns (32.8%), and one person in every five in the estates (22.2%) and villages (17.3%) had HIV.

Dr Simon Gregson, the lead author of the study from the Department of Infectious Disease Epidemiology at Imperial College London, said: “As in other parts of Africa, HIV has had a devastating effect on the lives of people in Zimbabwe. However, our research shows that, in spite of countless people having lost their lives to the virus, more people are still being born than are dying. The prevalence of HIV has been coming down in the last few years and, as more people receive treatment, we hope the death rate will soon also start to go down.”

Source: Imperial College London

Explore further: Latent HIV may lurk in 'quiet' immune cells, research suggests

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

More and more children have no parents and grandparents

Mar 28, 2012

(PhysOrg.com) -- While the number of cases of HIV infection in Zimbabwe has been decreasing for some time, the circumstances of children who have lost both parents to the AIDS epidemic could worsen in the ...

Recommended for you

HIV testing yields diagnoses in Kenya but few seek care

Jan 29, 2015

Between December 2009 and February 2011, health workers with the AMPATH Consortium sought to test and counsel every adult resident in the Bunyala subcounty of Kenya for HIV. A study in the journal Lancet HIV reports that the campaign yielded more than 1,300 new positive diagnoses, but few of those new ...

The adaptability of pathogens

Jan 28, 2015

Drug-resistant HIV viruses can spread rapidly. This is the conclusion of a study conducted as part of the SWISS HIV Cohort Study, which is supported by the SNSF. Only the continuous introduction of new drugs can stop the ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.