Let's unite in fighting HIV/Aids

EDITOR — I was saddened the other day when I read of one teenage girl who contracted HIV from mahumbwe (role playing) and it got me thinking that we still need to do more for this disease to disappear.

Many people have lost relatives and friends to HIV/Aids. Some children have lost both parents and it is their grandparents and other relatives who have to take care of them.

Back in the 1990s, stigmatisation and discrimination was at its peak and most people did not care to know their status. However, with the increased awareness on the pandemic, stigmatisation and discrimination decreased.

Back then, people feared the society more than their health. 
I was happy to hear that our government, after the 18th International Conference on Aids and STIs in Africa (Icasa), resolved that all people living with HIV would have to receive treatment, regardless of their CD4 count.

It was also announced that people on anti-retroviral drugs are now going to be given a supply of three or more months to reduce their travelling frequency to hospitals and clinics. The previous guidelines recommended treatment for adults living with HIV when their CD4 cell count fell below 500.

The recommendation also included using innovative testing approaches such as community or self-testing. Zimbabwe now has HIV self-testing kits and I have noticed that many people have embraced them which will make it easy for one to know their HIV status and the good thing is that the kits produce results within minutes.

It is my hope that many people will continue to be treated and Zimbabwe may record less numbers of HIV-related deaths.
Zimbabwe’s health sector has always been the complaining of resource challenges and that the Global Fund was not giving enough resources.

We hope there will not be any corruption in the health sector that will hinder the fight against HIV so that we achieve the total elimination of the pandemic. Tanaka.

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