Southern Africa has remained one of the regions most affected by the HIV epidemic in the world.
Approximately 40% of all people living with HIV are in the SADC region.
Speaking on the sidelines of the summit being hosted by Southern Africa, HIV and Aids Information Dissemination Service, SAFAIDS, social commentator, Professor Claude Mararike said awareness of HIV and AIDS is very high among Zimbabweans, but behaviour change has remained a challenge.
Commenting on the culture of multiple concurrent partners, an Executive Director of a South African based organisation called Grandmothers Against Poverty and Aids, Mrs. Yolisa Budaza said viral load is very high in the first three to four weeks after infection hence a man in a polygamous marriage has high chances of infecting all his wives.
Chief Tichafa Kunaka of Seke in Mushayahama village is of the opinion that the role of culture in encouraging more than one sexual partner at a time had also played a part in driving the epidemic.
Some researchers have suggested that concurrent relationships can increase the size of an HIV epidemic, the speed at which it infects a population and its persistence within a population.
However, the Journal of the International AIDS Society refutes the idea arguing that the mathematical model used to validate the research was seriously flawed by over-estimates of the frequency of sexual contact and the risk of contracting HIV per sexual encounter among other things.