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    Saturday, 24 September 2016

    Hundreds attend Chivhu Aids Musical Gala



    ELLEN MLAMBO
    CHIVHU BUREAU

    CHIKOMBA
    – Chivhu's Garwe Stadium was packed to the bream on Saturday last week when the National Aids Council (NAC) hosted a musical gala to raise awareness on HIV and Aids.
    It was a five star event with the Minister of Health and Child Care David Parirenyatwa being the guest of honor. Also present was the MP for the constituency who is also Minister of Industry and Commerce, Mike Bimha, NAC director Dr Tapuwa Magure, the District Administrator Clemence Masawi and Chikomba Rural District Council chairman, Alderman Pardon Mudzimu.
    Some of the key objectives of the gala were to get people tested for HIV and Aids, for cancer and to get circumcised.
    Dr Parirenyatwa told the gathering that only 50 percent of Zimbabweans were aware of their status.
    During the gala, 1 000 were tested.
    Dr Parirenyatwa expressed concern at the high HIV and Aids prevalence rate in the prisons which he said stood at 28 percent and was increasing. He said there was need to establish whether the high prevalence was a result of people getting the virus in prison or they got it outside and added that there was need for research to establish the facts.
    He advocated for distribution of condoms in prisons as is the practice in other countries because it is well known that people engage in sex inside the prisons.
    "We would not know whether the transmission occurs whilst they are in cells or they got it outside cells until a research is conducted," he said.
    He said that the other bigger sources of HIV/AIDS transmission are parent to child transmission, in colleges where students engage in unprotected sexual intercourse and from sex workers whom he urged to use protection.
    Parerenyatwa added that 1,5 million people are HIV positive and only 50% of the population in the country know their status.
    He thanked Minister Bimha for actively organizing the event.
    Senator Musarurwa who is also a chief said traditional leaders are also holding their campaigns in their areas to bring more awareness on HIV and Aids and added that the campaign is called "SabhukuVharazipi".
    Provincial AIDS coordinator, Doctor Wilfred Dube said the program was using music to attract people to the venue and then free medical services were given.
    Voluntary medical male circumcision which was done by the Ministry of Health headed by Fortunate Mudzvova, Family planning services headed by Peter Machimbirike. Dube said they want to link family planning and HIV testing to enhance dual protection.
    Non-Governmental Organizations which exhibited during the event include ZICHIRE, Young People's Network, and CATWIN which offers youth friendly services.
    Artists who performed during the event include Matthias Mhere, Andy Muridzo, Kevin Kusikwenyu (Killer T) amongst many.
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