Garepi Matambanadzo (35) is visually impaired and has two children with his wife Mercy, who is seven years younger than him.
By Byron Mutingwende
People living with disabilities are usually left out of most health programmes, including HIV and Aids “We are always fighting with my other half Mercy. I love her very much. I want six children, but she is content with the two that we have. The problem with me is that I am particular with my conjugal rights and I want them daily,” Matambanadzo says jokingly, picking up his metal walking stick.
Despite his disability, Matambanadzo has the same feelings that the able-bodied have. He married at the age of 25 and his eldest son Jonathan (10) is in Grade Five at Chikuku Primary School in Bikita. The second child, a girl, is six and in Grade Zero at the same school.
The National AIDS Council (NAC) has a department that handles issues of gender and HIV.
Today being International Women’s Day we are going to focus on how women in Zimbabwe disproportionately experience the impact of HIV due to the unequal sexual relationships and inability to negotiate for safer sex. Most women living with HIV were infected by unprotected sex with an infected man. Preventing transmission is the responsibility of both partners. Men must play an equal role in this. The HIV and AIDS epidemic impact upon women has also been worsened by certain roles within society. The responsibility of caring for people living with HIV and orphans is an issue that has a greater effect on women.
Paidamoyo Chipunza and Walter Nyamukondiwa Zimbabwe’s ground breaking national HIV survey will see up to 16 laboratories dotted across the country, 13 of which are State owned, upgraded at a cost of $5 million by the time the process starts. Speaking at the official launch of the six month long Zimbabwe Population Based HIV Impact Assessment (ZIMPHIA) in Harare yesterday, ICAP at Columbia University chief of party, Dr Godfrey Musuku, said the laboratories targeted for upgrading were Parirenyatwa, Mpilo, Gokwe, Gweru, Guruve, Gwanda, Karoi, Mutoko, Hwange, Mutare, Masvingo and Beitbridge.
Pessimism and gloom have been Zimbabwe’s hallmark for the past 15 years, with very little to look forward to.Zimbabweans have got so used to bad news in the media that they have almost forgotten what good news sounds like. In yesterday’s paper we reported that there had been a 38% drop in HIV and Aids-related deaths and this is quite a silver lining on Zimbabwe’s increasingly darkening cloud.The full story of the effects of HIV and Aids on the economy and society is yet to be told, but what is certain is the number of deaths so far can be classified as those of genocide.
Matabeleland North MP Ruth Labode (MDC-T)yesterday called for decriminalisation of sex work saying women were being unfairly treated by police.
BY VENERANDA LANGA
Labode, who chairs the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Health and Child Care, made the plea in the National Assembly while introducing a motion on the HIV and Aids learning and exposure study visit to Karnataka State, Bangalore, in India by her committee.The committee visited India in November last year to learn how the Asian country was tackling HIV prevalence amongst sex workers. Labode said during the study tour they also took with them a Zimbabwean representative from sex workers.
“We discovered that when planning ways to deal with HIV, we need to also include high risk groups like sex workers,” Labode said.
“We need to now start lobbying to decriminalise loitering because sex workers are our sisters and they do not engage in sex alone — they do it with men who engage sex workers.”
Only two babies were born with HIV in the country 2013
Cuba is the first country to eliminate the transfer of HIV and Syphilis from mother to child, the World Health Organization (WHO) announced Tuesday. Only two babies were born with HIV in the country 2013, a low enough number to meet the WHO standard. “This is a celebration for Cuba and a celebration for children and families everywhere,” said Michel Sidibé, executive director of the United Nations Program on HIV/AIDS, in a statement. The achievement is at least in part the result of a five-year program by WHO and the Pan American Health Organization to eliminate prenatal transmission of HIV in the region. The program has included testing for pregnant women and treatment for women who test positive. Effective treatment of HIV in pregnant women can reduce the risk of passing the disease to a child to just 1%, down from as high as 45% otherwise.
HARARE - The Zimbabwe HIV and AIDS Activist Union Community Trust ZHAAU-CT is setting up committees led by people living with HIV with the intention of monitoring access to and availability of AIDS services in the country's heath care centres. The initiative, which was launched at St Paul's Msami hospital in Mrewa last week, will see the AIDS activists reporting shortages of Anti-Retroviral drugs, cases of stigma and discrimination happening in hospitals as well as monitoring drug adherence among those on treatment. ZHAAU-CT president Stanley Takaona (HIV positive) at the launch said the initiative was not a witch-hunting exercise.
UNAIDS, UNICEF, UNFPA, WHO, PEPFAR, the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, the MTV Staying Alive Foundation and youth movements represented by PACT and Y+ join President Uhuru Kenyatta to launch All In, a new platform for action against the adolescent AIDS epidemic.
NAIROBI, 17 February 2015—While major advances have been made in almost every area of the response to HIV, progress for adolescents is falling behind, said leaders in the global response to end the AIDS epidemic.
AIDS has become the leading cause of death for adolescents in Africa and the second leading cause of death among adolescents globally. Just one in four children and adolescents under the age of 15 have access to life-saving antiretroviral treatment. Deaths are declining in all age groups, except among 10–19 year olds.
People taking antiretroviral drugs have been urged to adhere to their treatment regimens so that they do not develop resistance, reversing recovery benefits and incurring huge health care costs, an Aids expert has said. “Adherence is critical in suppressing the virus and the level of drug concentration should be maintained so that treatment becomes effective,” said Owen Mugurungi, the director of Aids and TB in the Health ministry. He said HIV treatment success was hinged on sticking to specific time of taking the ARVs and on a daily basis without fail.
“If one defaults on treatment for whatever reason, the virus mutates and becomes resistant to drugs being taken. It then becomes expensive to move a patient from the first line of treatment to the second line.”
New Friends’ paper highlights innovative ways countries are mobilising health resources to fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria
Washington, D.C., February 10, 2015 — In a report released Tuesday, Friends of the Global Fight Against AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria highlights ways in which Global Fund implementing countries are increasing domestic investments in health. The report, titled Innovation for Greater Impact: Exploring Resources for Domestic Health Funding in Africa, illustrates how, through a variety of approaches, African governments are mobilizing additional resources to fight HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria.
“Impressive global progress has been made against the three diseases in recent decades and African governments are really stepping up. They have increased their domestic health financing by 150 percent,” said Friends’ President Deb Derrick. “But the fight is not yet over. To sustain momentum and ultimately defeat these diseases, increased funding will need to come from implementing countries and the Global Fund is working to facilitate this.”