VUZU parties where school going children as young as 12 years indulge in risky sexual behaviour are still hindering progress towards the fight against sexually transmitted infections (STI) including HIV in Bulawayo.
Older people often take advantage of children at the parties where they usually have alcohol or drug-fuelled sex orgies, without protection.
In an interview yesterday, Bulawayo Provincial Aids Co-ordinator Mrs Sinatra Nyathi said there was a worrying STI trend in young people.
She added that besides gains in fighting HIV, Bulawayo had a significant number of young women who sell sex secretly, a development which makes it difficult for stakeholders to come up with a solution.
According to Mrs Nyathi, young people were reversing gains made in controlling STIs by continuously engaging in risky sexual behaviour.
“Despite all that we have done to ensure our province is HIV and STI free, our young people still organise and attend Vuzu parties. What is worrying is that children at a tender age attend such parties and indulge in sex which exposes them to many diseases,” she said.
Mrs Nyathi said there are numerous methods to prevent STIs available for sexually active people, which can be accessed countrywide.
“These services are available even during the holidays and I encourage people to get tested even before indulging in risky sex.”