Gonese, E., Mapako, T., Dzangare, J., et al. PLOS ONE (July 2015), 10(7): e0129611, doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0129611.
Demographic and Health Surveys conducted in Zimbabwe showed a decline in HIV prevalence from 18.1 percent in 2005/2006 to 15.2 percent in 2010/2011. In this cross-sectional study, the authors focused on key factors influencing the change in prevalence by examining differences in geographic location along with demographic, behavioral, and biological characteristics. They found a greater decline in prevalence for men in urban than rural settings (17 versus 13 percent, respectively). However, among women, a greater and significant decrease occurred in rural areas (19 percent), with no significant change in urban areas (9 percent). Significant declines were observed in both men and women with more than secondary education. The authors also noted a high proportional decline in sexual risk behaviors and increased condom use among both men and women who were in union, and for men and women who experienced sexual debut at 16 years and older. Geographic locations influenced prevalence, which declined significantly among men in Harare and women in Mashonaland Central, but increased among men in Matebeleland North and women in Bulawayo. The authors stated that their findings indicate the need for further research to determine reasons behind these variations by gender and provincial location.