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May 29, 2009

Fishing Industry Fuels HIV in Africa’s Lake Victoria Region

HIV and other sexually transmitted infections (STIs) have been increasingly linked to fishing activities in Africa’s Lake Victoria region, The Citizen reports. According to recent survey findings, HIV prevalence is greatest in communities along beaches and among females.

Cultural practices such as wife inheritance and a “fish for sex” bartering trade are contributing to this phenomenon, said experts who convened with members of the East African Community (EAC) and other officials to address the issue. The Lake Victoria Basin Commission held the regional meeting.

The EAC already launched a four-year Regional Multisectoral HIV/AIDS Strategic Plan 2008–2012 targeting the spread of the virus, but Jean Claude Nsengiyumva, the EAC deputy secretary general in charge of productive and social sectors, said that a coordinated and unified effort is needed.

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