The pitfalls associated with being a young girl who grows up without parental care caught up with one Prudence, a now reformed sex worker based in Chirundu who had to trade her body to fend for a living following a disastrous childhood.

For over 20 years, Prudence has survived on sex work, which saw her target mainly cross border truck drivers and by her estimation, she has been intimate with about three bus loads of men.

The figure sounds an underestimation though, for assuming she had one client every three or four days, that would mean she was intimate with an average 91 men per year.

Multiply the figure by 20 years, the cumulative period in which she has been trading her body, and you get 1 820 men.

The figure tells a story on the complexity of the concurrent multiple partnership web that entangles society in the era of HIV and AIDS.

Prudence, not her real name, has however since reformed, blamed a poor background for the vice.

She said it all started after she got pregnant while she was a teenager and like every caring mother, had to find means to fend for the baby, with sex work having been the best option for her.

She has, however, reformed and is taking responsibility in the national response to the HIV and AIDS pandemic after embracing services and education from an AIDS service organisation, Centre for Sexual Health, HIV and AIDS Research.

Now aged about 42, she has virtually lost the glamour to compete against teens who have flocked Chirundu to offer paid for sex despite her advice on the folies of the practice, she feels pity for them.

Meanwhile, the Centre for Sexual Health, HIV and AIDS Research in Chirundu has so far offered services to 1 013 sex workers at the border post since 2009, according to Varaidzo Mushina, a registered general nurse working for the organisation.

Statistics provided by Mushina indicate a worrying prevalence of sexually transmitted diseases at the border post, where 129 sex workers tested for HIV over the last three months were infected with STIs.