Zim Gov't should help people affected by HIV/AIDS

Letters to the Editor

Zim Gov't should help people affected by HIV/AIDS

Tuesday, December 01, 2020

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Dear Editor,

It is sorrowful that Zimbabwe has a high incidence of HIV/AIDS.

The conditions of people living with HIV/AIDS have worsened because of economic hardships and misplaced priorities by the Zimbabwean Government.

Unprotected heterosexual sex continues to be the main transmission route for new infections, with approximately 40,000 Zimbabweans affected with HIV-AIDS this year.

Zimbabwe's President Emerson Mnangagwa ignored Zimbabweans living with HIV/AIDS and there is no commitment or any support that is coming from the Government to ease the burden on people affected by HIV/AIDS, who face challenges such as inadequate access to health services, food and nutrition; lack of access to clean water, good hygiene and sanitation.

People living with HIV/AIDS are disproportionately affected by food insecurity and shortages of essential medicines. HIV medication should not be taken on an empty stomach. Lack of community support and stigma and discrimination affect children living with HIV from their school attendance and hospital visits. Lack of access to foreign exchange has significantly reduced stocks of essential medicines, diagnostics, and other medical supplies. Some private pharmaceutical suppliers now only accept United States dollars and their prices have dramatically increased.

In these circumstances, poor, weak people living with conditions such as HIV and tuberculosis are unable to pay for medicines and basic health. The Zimbabwean Government is careless and reckless about health and the human rights of the people with AIDS are compromised.

As a defender of human rights, I invite AIDS organisations to pile pressure on Zimbabwean President Emerson Mnangagwa to prioritise the easing of burdens for people affected by AIDS.

Kudzai Chikowore

MDC Alliance activist

London, UK


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