Key populations are defined as sub-groups of the population at “higher risk of being infected by HIV, who play a key role in how HIV spread, and whose involvement is vital for an effective and sustainable response to HIV. Zimbabwe considers gay men and other men who have sex with men, sex workers and their clients, transgender people and people who inject drugs as the four main key population groups, but it acknowledges that prisoners and people with Disability also are particularly vulnerable to HIV and frequently lack adequate access to services.
HIV sub-epidemics among other key and vulnerable populations in Zimbabwe also signal the need for a more targeted response12. Preliminary results from the modes of transmission study show nearly 4000 new HIV infections a year among female sex workers (with a prevalence around 57.1%) and nearly 2000 new infections each year among men who have sex with men (MSM) (with a prevalence of about 23.5%)13. HIV prevalence among the wider LGBT community has been linked to risks associated with forced sex, a key gender-related consideration.
12 UNAIDS considers gay men and other men who have sex with men, sex workers, transgender people and people who inject drugs as the four main key population groups, but it acknowledges that prisoners and other incarcerated people also are particularly vulnerable to HIV and frequently lack adequate access to services. Figure 3 makes it clear that the number of new infections among people who inject drugs in Zimbabwe is extremely low, therefore they are not considered a key population in this country and disease context. 13 UNAIDS Programme Data 2015
2414 People with disabilities are twice as likely to self-report having HIV as those without disabilities. 15Among prisoners, HIV prevalence is estimated at 28% in 2015 (26.8% among male detainees and 39% among female detainees). 16Criminalization, stigmatization and marginalization drive both higher rates of infection and lower uptake of services. The 2014 PLHIV Stigma Index found that 90.8% of sex workers, 77.8% of MSM, 64.5% of people with disabilities and 100% of prisoners reported experiencing stigma and discrimination.
For more information about the Key Populations programme view or download documents below.
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