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Thursday, 13 January, 2000, 13:14 GMT
Zambia study suggests Aids campaign success

Zambian Aids hospice Over a million Zambians are still at risk from HIV


By Ishbel Matheson in Lusaka

Research in Zambia shows a substantial decline in the number of women testing HIV positive between the ages of 15 and 19.

The survey was carried out by the Zambian Department of Health and involved 12,000 women tested at ante-natal clinics in locations throughout the country.


HIV/Aids statistics
33.6 million people infected worldwide
More than 50% of cases in Africa
Aids killed two million Africans in 1998
10 people infected every second
The decline was most dramatic in the capital Lusaka, where in 1994 28% of women were testing positive. But by 1998 that figure had almost halved.

These results have now been verified by an independent team from the United Nations and have been hailed as extremely encouraging by Aids campaigners.

'Changing behaviour'

Aids Special Report
Dr Moses Sichone, the head of the Zambian Aids programme, said this research clearly demonstrated it was possible to prevent the spread of Aids, particularly among adolescents, through education programmes.

Young people, he said, were changing their sexual behaviour.


Condom mascot This giant condom was part of an Aids awareness campaign
There was less casual sex and more and more young people were using condoms.

Campaigners say Zambia is only the second African country, after Uganda, to show that sustained education campaigns can reduce HIV infection levels.

The Zambian results will be welcomed by health workers throughout the sub-Saharan region who are struggling to cope with the devestating spread of the disease.

But one health planner in Lusaka warned there are still bleak times ahead.

Even if HIV prevalence gradually declines it is still estimated that over 1.5 million Zambians will die from the disease over the next 15 years.

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See also:
11 Jan 00 |  Africa
UN Aids plan welcomed
10 Jan 00 |  Africa
US boost for Aids fight
04 Oct 99 |  Africa
Africa on the Aids frontline
01 Dec 99 |  Africa
Aids in Kenya: A social disease
15 Sep 99 |  Africa
Aids: World's 'worst undeclared war'
01 Dec 99 |  World
UN highlights Aids orphans
24 Nov 99 |  Africa
Mixed response to Africa's Aids epidemic
14 Sep 99 |  Aids
African countries list Aids priorities

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