Online media plays critical role in reducing HIV and AIDS incidences
By Nevson Mpofu
Online media has grown so pervasive such that there is need to recognise digital journalists working hard to reach millions across the World. This comes at a time Zimbabwe has done extraordinary wonders in reducing HIV and AIDS prevalence and new incidence rates in the country.
Addressing an online pack of Journalists from around the country in Mutare, Dr Tapuwa Magure, the Director of the National AIDS Council called for an increased coverage of HIV and AIDS issues.
“We continue talking about HIV prevalence because prevalence rate covers old and new infections. For now, people have become steady and follow principles of behavior change in communities. Deaths related to HIV and AIDS have gone down because of access to universal treatment. We are able as a country to reduce new Infections.
‘’Let’s talk about succeeding in reducing new Infections of which we did, yes, AIDS related deaths have gone down, why then continue talking about prevalence rates? It’s almost archaic. In fact, we have called on awareness of the moonlight tests, which we do in key populations like commercial sex workers. It’s all about reaching where people are .The test mechanism will call for a massive reduction of HIV and AIDS and related Opportunistic Infections around the country,” he said.
Speaking at the same symposium, Amon Mpofu, the National Aids Council’s Monitoring and Evaluation Director said the mortality rate had decreased. Behaviuor change has reduced incidences of multiple concurrent partners.
‘’Life has become longer than before. Therefore Mortality Rate due to HIV and AIDS is down but we still need to reduce cancers related to HIV and AIDS like cervical cancer. Screening becomes our target of the day in HIV and AIDS business. Opportunistic Infections like cancer are increasing. We now turn to Visual Inspection of cancer using Ascetic Acid [VIAC] for screening Cervical Cancer.’’
He added that early testing and treatment of cancer was very important and so was other opportunistic infections like Tuberculosis, which is closely related to HIV and AIDS. Mpofu said the government was working to eliminate HIV and AIDS by 2030 and revealed that the government had secured a $1 million fund for procuring Cervical Cancer screening equipment.