HARARE – New adult HIV infections are set to increase to 54 000 by 2015 if further risk reduction measures are not put in place, an international labour organisation has said.
The International Labour Organisation (ILO), currently running a Corridor Economic Empowerment Project aimed at achieving zero new infections in the country, said approximately 48 168 people were being infected by HIV annually since 2009 with 132 new infections daily.
The project targetting the informal economy, cooperatives, association of women, small to medium enterprises, cross border officials, trade groups and transport sector workers, seeks to prevent HIV risky behaviour by promoting decent work and productivity.
ILO’s national professional officer for the Transport Corridors Project, Colly Masuku, said there was an inter relation between poverty and HIV/Aids.
“High levels of poverty usually lead people to adopt strategies that place them at very high risk,” Masuku said.
He said empowering people economically by promoting work and providing business-related services which increased productivity would go a long way in preventing risky behaviour.
“The project recognises the fact that there is a strong link between poverty, joblessness, underemployment and HIV infection particularly in areas of high HIV prevalence as such it endeavours to address these underlying vulnerability factors in an effort to mitigate the impact of HIV/Aids in Zimbabwe,” Masuku said.