Traditional norms and values play a role in curbing the spread of HIV and AIDS, an official has revealed.
Midlands Provincial Aids Coordinator Mambewu Shumba said that the traditional sex-locking method – runyoka or rukawo in Shona, though it is a myth, instils fear into people so that they avoid cheating on their spouses.
Shumba was commenting on reports that there is a low HIV prevalence rate in Gokwe North and South districts, areas that are renowned for witchcraft. He said:
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The first programme that we have is that of HIV testing and counselling, as you know, that’s the entry point in the fight against the spread of HIV.
But also the traditional norms and values have also played a great part in the fight against the spread of HIV and AIDS as people here respect and follow their culture.
The sex locking issues is just a myth, but these people respect their cultural values and norms.
Tonga and the Shangwe people there stick to one man and even if they are in the polygamous marriages.
So the issues of runyoka (sex locking) are just a myth which has been said over and over again hence men and women are just afraid of cheating with married partners.