47% of University of Zimbabwe students test positive for HIV

By News 24

The University of Zimbabwe (UZ) has moved to limit inter-residence visits between male and female students after almost half of the students who underwent HIV testing, tested positive.

According media reports, the startling revelation came as a result of voluntary HIV testing that took place at Zimbabwe's oldest tertiary institution, with 47% of the students testing positive for the virus.

Confirming the results, UZ Vice Chancellor Levi Nyagura said that criticism of his management style would not deter him from limiting contact between male and female students as well as strongly advising against promiscuity.

"The grim statistics of sexually transmitted diseases at the institution have forced us to have a limit for inter-residence visits between female and male students. We have consulted lots of parents and all of them do not want to promote promiscuity by allowing students to enjoy married lifestyles by staying with their girlfriends in the halls of residence," Nyagura said.

Jimmy Wilford, Director of SayWhat, an organisation set to raise awareness around HIV, expressed concern over Nyagura's stance on the matter, claiming that his heavy-handedness could send out the wrong message due to some students who may have been born with the disease.

The development came after recent claims that students at Zimbabwe's Midlands State University (MSU) had exhibited reckless sexual behaviour, leading to an increase in the prevalence of HIV at the institution.

According to The Herald, Mambewu Shumba, Provincial Co-ordinator for National Aids Council Midlands, condemned the allegedly aggressive sexual behavior of MSU students, claiming that they were a major contributor of an increase in HIV prevalence in the Gweru area of the country.