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Provincial Newspapers Telegraph

NAC tackles HIV, drug abuse


ZIMBABWE has been taking measures aimed at controlling and stopping the spread of

In an effort to curb the spread of the disease, the National Aids Council (NAC) is
empowering people of different age groups around the province in the fight against HIV.
In a recent media tour held in the province, NAC introduced groups of different ages
and gender where they are educating them on how not to spread or get affected by the

NAC together with Ministry of Health and Child Care and its partners held the 35 th
commemorations of Provincial World Aids Day at Makonde High School in Kariba
District under the theme “Let the communities lead”.

In Kariba, they engaged a number of groups from different wards under the “Behaviour
Change Male Motivators (BCMM)” which focuses on dangers caused by being reckless
with their life while mostly under the influence of drugs.

Asmin Chikukwa from Ward 6 and Joshua Mukwesha from Ward 4 have the task of
teaching these young boys on ways of prevention by highlighting some of the causes
which lead young ones into early and unsafe sex.

“We have situations, where when these young boys get money after selling their
kapenta from the dam, they indulge in drinking alcohol and taking drugs that they end
up being reckless to the extent of sleeping with older women and sometimes without
protection, which then leads them to contracting STIs among other diseases.

“So, we meet with them, warn and teach them on these problems at the same time
encouraging them to use protection in case this happens,” explained Chikukwa.

In Hurungwe District, there is a brother-to-brother group, which focuses mainly on
sporting activities as a way of keeping these young boys busy so that they don’t get
involved in drugs at the same time teaching them about abstaining and prevention

There are also sister-to-sister groups in the province with females up to 25 years, where
some of them are mothers because they had babies at a tender age. This group
teaches young girls how to take care, work for themselves at the same time
encouraging them to go back to school and start a new life.

One of the young females from Eastrange, who is 24 and has two children – the oldest
being eight years old – said she is thankful for the knowledge they are getting from this
group sponsored by NAC and is always regretting the time she spent going to beerhalls
as a commercial sex worker instead of getting back to school and improving her life.

However, she said she was grateful because she managed to leave behind a life which
was full of dangers.

Shackleton Mine has a group of sex workers who have some with more than 15 years in
the industry being taught and encouraged not to spread HIV and not to be victims of

As they shared their experiences with journalists, they highlighted some of the problems
they encounter in their line of business, to the extent of some getting killed. They also
asked to be availed more condoms as they were becoming scarce.

“We would like to thank NAC for the teachings they render to us, as it is helping us so
much as we know how to take care of ourselves and not to get or spread HIV. They
teach us to be safe always and we try as much to adhere to that because we also have
children who need care and good upbringing from us despite being sex workers as their

“We, however, implore them to bring us more condoms, both male and female so that
we are not prone to these diseases including STIs,” said Shingirai Billiat, who is aged 46
with five children. She says she has been a sex worker for 15 years.

From NACs statistics, HIV population in the province, Chegutu has the highest
population of 30 859, followed by Hurungwe with 29 302, Zvimba 25 220, Makonde 23
133, Sanyati 21 098, Mhondoro Ngezi 9007 and the least being Kariba with 4 857.

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