100 hookers, truckers test for HIV, STIs

Campaign dubbed “Moonlight HIV testing”

Nonsikelelo Moyo, Chronicle Reporter
MORE than 100 commercial sex workers and truck drivers were tested for sexually transmitted diseases on Tuesday night at three sites in Victoria Falls in a one-day campaign aimed at encouraging ladies of the night to know their status.

The campaign, dubbed “Moonlight HIV testing,” was organised by the Sadc secretariat in partnership with North Star Alliance, which recently opened a wellness centre in Victoria Falls.

The testing campaign was a precursor to a three-day workshop organised by Sadc which ended yesterday in Victoria Falls under the theme: “Co-learning visits.”

Some residents including youths were also tested, according to Ms Juliana Muskwe, the Zimbabwe site coordinator for the wellness clinic.

She said the mobile testing sites were at Victoria Falls Truck Stop, Lupinyu Business Centre and Chinotimba long distance bus terminus.

“The Sadc team is here to learn how we’re able to mobilise sex workers and manage to convince them to seek health services,” said Ms Muskwe.

She said sex workers were gradually opening up because of the services offered at the Victoria Falls Wellness Clinic.

The clinic, is one of the four opened by the Sadc secretariat in the country recently. The others are in Beitbridge, at Chirundu and at Forbes border posts.

The clinics also have Crisis Report Teams where commercial sex workers can confidentially report cases of abuse.

“The Crisis Report Team attends to sex workers who are faced with abuse or those involved in assault or street fights. They are assisted with funding among other services after a report is made,” she said.

AidsFonds from Netherlands provides the funding.

Matabeleland North provincial medical director Dr Nyasha Masuka said the Moonlight testing was organised as a way of reaching out to sex workers.—. @nonsy_m.

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