Harare (AFP) - More than 100 million condoms were distributed in Zimbabwe last year, a huge increase on previous years, indicating that more people were practising safe sex in the battle against HIV, authorities said Tuesday.
According to the National Aids Council, HIV rates in Zimbabwe have declined by 30 percent since 2009.
About 1.3 million Zimbabweans out of a population of 13 million still live with HIV, with 618,980 people on anti-retroviral treatment.
"We had 104 million male condoms and 5.2 million female condoms distributed last year alone, up from a total of 28 million the previous year," said Amon Mpofu, a director at the National Aids Council.
"The distribution of condoms and the corresponding decline in the rate of infection shows people are using protection."
Condoms are freely available in public places including bars, clinics and colleges and they are handed out by community health workers in rural areas.
Shops also sell them at a government-subsidised rate.
HIV is one of the leading killers in southern Africa, and health authorities are advocating safe sex to curb the spread of the virus.