The National Aids Council is targeting artisanal miners in Shurugwi with some of its programmes in the fight against HIV and AIDS. The council said recently that they had noticed an increase STI and HIV infections in areas where informal miners operate. It also took the decision given the abuse of commercial sex workers by the miners in these areas.
Said Shurugwi District Aids Coordinator Petros Mazengwa:
“As NAC, we have now realised the need to involve the artisanal miners in our HIV programmes after we noticed an increase in STIs and HIV infections from the mining areas.
“There are stories of these machete-wielding artisanal miners demanding unprotected sex from commercial sex workers, so we saw it important to incorporate them in our HIV awareness campaigns to spread the message.
“They are now our condom champions who help with the distribution of condoms in these mining sites as we want to prevent both STIs and HIV at the same time.”
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