HIV rates in Zimbabwe have fallen 13 percent in one decade, defying all expectations for the region, according to a study published in PLoS Medicine and reported by The New York Times. In 1997, an estimated 29 percent of adults tested positive for HIV. A decade later, the rate stands at 16 percent. The online study has found that rates subsided mostly because of a decrease in extramarital sex and a collapse of the economy that left men unable to buy sex or pay for multiple girlfriends. Other reasons include changing sexual norms, which resulted in fewer women meeting men at beer halls, an increase in AIDS education campaigns, and higher marital rates for Zimbabweans compared with neighboring countries.

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