BPRA commemorates World AIDS Day

Bulawayo Progressive Residents Association (BPRA) will this year join the rest of the world in commemorating World Aids Day in conjunction with various organisations in Bulawayo in activities to be held on Friday 2 December 2011 at Sekusile Shopping Centre in Nkulumane from 0900hrs to 1300hrs. The organisations include Radio Dialogue, Matabeleland Aids Council, Zimbabwe National Family Planning Council, New Start, New Life, the Male Circumcision Clinic, Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights, Bulawayo City Council, National Youth Development Trust, People Living with Aids in Zimbabwe, Nkulumane District Aids Action Committee and Nkulumane Home Based Care.
Activities to be held on the day include an Edutainment Road Show, Mobile voluntary Counselling and Testing and distribution of HIV/AIDS information. There will also be free male circumcision at the Nkulumane clinic which is a short distance from Sekusile Shopping Centre while fact sheets, pamphlets and fliers with information related to HIV and AIDS will also be distributed.
The objectives of the activities that will be held by the association are three pronged. Firstly, they will be aimed at educating people on the best practices to avoid contracting HIV/AIDS and best practices to lead a healthy and fulfilling life while HIV positive. Secondly, the activities will campaign for the universal access to antiretroviral therapy for people living with HIV that are in need of the treatment and for the design and implementation of social protection strategies for people living with the virus. Third, the activities will bring attention to gender specific needs of women and girls that must be addressed in AIDS responses and declare zero tolerance for gender-based violence as it promotes the spread of the pandemic.
AIDS remains one of the leading killer diseases in the world, but especially Sub-Saharan Africa which accounts for 67 percent of HIV infections in the world, 68 percent of new HIV infections among adults and 91 percent of new HIV infections among children. Sub-Saharan Africa also accounts for 72 percent of the worlds AIDS-related deaths. Closer to home, Zimbabwe has an HIV prevalence rate of 14.3 percent, meaning that statistically, one in five Zimbabweans has HIV.
This year, World AIDS Day commemorations run under the theme “Getting to Zero” which is an allusion by the UNAIDS to its long term goal of achieving zero new HIV infections, zero discrimination against people living with AIDS and zero AIDS related deaths.