MP’s in Zimbabwe undergo public HIV tests
More than 100 people, including legislators and parliament staff have undergone voluntary counselling and testing in an effort to encourage ordinary people to follow suit. More legislators are expected to publicly undergo voluntary counselling and testing at the Africa Unity Square in Harare this Friday.
In an effort to lead by example and advocate for zero discrimination, zero infections and zero AIDS-related deaths, parliamentarians have volunteered to undergo voluntary counselling and testing as well as male circumcision this Friday.
In the build up to the day, more than 47 legislators, 22 outsiders as well as 60 parliament staff have publicly undergone voluntary counselling and testing.
Chairperson of Zimbabwe Parliamentarians on HIV (ZIPAH), Mr. Blessing Chebundo said the initiative is aimed at encouraging the public to be open about their HIV status and contribute significantly to fighting the HIV and AIDS pandemic.
“As legislators, we want to lead by example and be hands on when it comes to issues to do with HIV and AIDS,” said Mr Chebundo.
Ministry of Health and Child Welfare Director for AIDS and TB unit, Dr Owen Mugurungi applauded the legislators for taking the bold initiative, adding that other leaders should follow suit and motivate those who look up to them. “We are happy with this initiative and we are happy more leaders will come on board,” Dr Mugurungi said.
ZIPAH was launched in March this year as part of an immediate response by legislators to the HIV and AIDS pandemic. The organisation also works in conjunction with People Living with HIV and AIDS, the National AIDS Council and other AIDS service organisations to disseminate HIV and AIDS information in their constituencies.