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Page last updated at 17:09 GMT, Tuesday, 30 May 2006 18:09 UK

Why a Zimbabwean abstains from sex

A factory worker in Zimbabwe, who asked for his name to be withheld, tells the BBC News website how the HIV pandemic has affected his sexual behaviour.

A UNAids report says the country is one of the few in Africa where the rate of HIV infection is on the decline, as people delay becoming sexually active and increase their condom use.

I am 22 years old and would never have sex without a condom.
Zimbabwean factory worker uses his mobile phone
I just don't want to see myself dying like that

I became sexually active when I was about 16 and in that time I've had sex four or five times and each time I've used a condom.

Most of my friends are careful too, although there is one who isn't; he just takes it as it is.

He is aware of the dangers, but he says it doesn't matter whether you use a condom or not.

I have a new girlfriend this year who is 17 - she's a virgin and does not want to have sex, so I am abstaining too now.

Last year I had two girlfriends at the same time: one who was abstaining and the other who was sexually active.

I will not be unfaithful to my new girlfriend, as I am prepared to wait for her so we can get married.

At weekends we hang out during the day in the parks, as her parents do not like her going out at night.

I would say my behaviour is also influenced by my religion - I'm a Christian.

I don't tend to go to bars too much because my dad does not like me to go out and drink beer.

I live with him and he's so strict and full of the Holy Spirit - he'd know if I got up to any mischief, that's the problem.

Right now so many people are HIV in Zimbabwe.

A lot are dying and I just don't want to see myself dying like that.

My aunt died of Aids last December.

Once you've got Aids and people know about it, you die of stress, because most people begin to leave you alone and ignore you.

It's not a completely taboo subject; I do talk about HIV and condoms with some of my brothers, for example.

I'm not sure if sexual attitudes are changing altogether, but I tell you around the streets of Harare you will see lots of used condoms on the ground.


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