Opinion Paper

Limited syphilis testing for key populations in Zimbabwe: A silent public health threat

Mathias Dzobo, Tafadzwa Dzinamarira, Grant Murewanhema, Roda Madziva, Helena Herrera, Godfrey Musuka
Southern African Journal of Infectious Diseases | Vol 37, No 1 | a385 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajid.v37i1.385 | © 2022 Mathias Dzobo, Tafadzwa Dzinamarira, Grant Murewanhema, Roda Madziva, Helena Herrera, Godfrey Musuka | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 27 November 2021 | Published: 10 June 2022

About the author(s)

Mathias Dzobo, School of Health Systems and Public Health, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, South Africa
Tafadzwa Dzinamarira, School of Health Systems and Public Health, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, South Africa
Grant Murewanhema, Unit of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, University of Zimbabwe, Harare, Zimbabwe
Roda Madziva, School of Sociology and Social Policy, University of Nottingham, Nottingham, United Kingdom
Helena Herrera, School of Pharmacy and Biomedical Sciences, University of Portsmouth, Portsmouth, United Kingdom
Godfrey Musuka, ICAP at Columbia University, Harare, Zimbabwe


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Abstract

In this article, the authors discuss the problem of high prevalences of active syphilis amongst key populations (KPs) in Zimbabwe, in combination with low testing rates, partly because of a difficult legal and social environment for these populations. The article highlights the need to develop strategies to address the high prevalence of syphilis amongst KPs. The authors discuss requirements for addressing deficits in existing clinical services, predominantly primary care settings, in providing primary healthcare, including sexually transmitted infection (STI) management, to Zimbabwe’s KP communities and utility of point-of-care testing and self-testing and other innovations to improve testing uptake.

Keywords

syphilis; HIV; key populations; testing; Zimbabwe

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