On the road with HIV

by Luca Catalano Gonzaga

Chirundu stands on a bank of the Zambezi River, on the border between Zambia and Zimbabwe. It is the main hub for the transportation of goods coming from South Africa and heading North, and vice-versa. The constant flow of lorry drivers and the absence of any healthcare facilities in the village has had a long-lasting impact on its inhabitants: thriving prostitution and an increase in HIV infections.
Endless truck convoys, transporting containers filled with merchandise, stand in line for days in Chiurundu, while the truckers wait for the necessary paperwork. Prostitutes often accompany truckers on their long trips, returning home after several weeks. Along the way, many of those women become pregnant and pass on the HIV to their children. Chirundu has the highest concentration of prostitutes in Zambia, the country where one woman in ten is HIV positive.

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