Resurgent Mining Industry in Zambia Boosts Sex Work, Could Fuel Spread of HIV/AIDS
The resurgent mining industry in Zambia's Copperbelt province has boosted commercial sex work in the region, which could help fuel the spread of HIV/AIDS and other sexually transmitted infections, according to the Times of Zambia, Xinhua News Agency reports. The province's 20% HIV prevalence is the second highest in the country after Lusaka Province, which has an HIV prevalence of 22%. Three districts in Copperbelt -- Chingola, Kitwe and Ndola -- have an HIV prevalence of about 26.6%, according to the health ministry, Xinhua News Agency reports. The national HIV prevalence is 16%, and long-distance truck drivers and sex workers comprise the largest groups who are at a high risk of contracting HIV, Xinhua News Agency reports. According to a 2006 Behavioral Surveillance Survey conducted in Zambia by USAID's Corridors of Hope program, women who conduct sex work are at higher risk of HIV transmission than men and contract HIV at a younger age, Xinhua News Agency reports. The country's National AIDS Council said the government is developing a campaign to raise HIV awareness and address the issue within the mining industry (Xinhua News Agency, 7/27).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.