Some female students at Bindura University of Science Education (BUSE) and Zimbabwe Ezekiel Guti University (ZEGU) have resorted to sex work to raise money to pay rent and tuition fees.
This is said to have brought competition to professional sex workers in Bindura who are now carrying books in satchels around to try and deceive men into thinking they were also students.
The involvement of students in sex work has prompted the National AIDS Council (NAC) to scale up intervention programmes at tertiary institutions.
A Students And Youth Working on reproductive Health Action Team (SAYWHAT) officer based in the town who requested anonymity told NewZimbabwe.com:
They (students) also go and solicit for sex but most of them need guidance especially from peer educators who work with sex workers in Bindura.
Some of them have full of I know, but they are not aware of the dangers of sex work, which are the hot spots, which clients are violent; so they need guidance from these (older sex workers) people.
… The challenge to us, they do not open up because they are afraid of stigma, they are afraid that a peer educator who is a student if they get to know that they sell sex, the whole school will end up knowing.
NAC provincial manager, Edgar Muzulu said as an institution, they were working around the clock to disseminate information on anti-retroviral therapy and HIV including working through the Dean of Students.