Gender equality way to curb HIV/Aids

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Editor: Mu Xuequan

Gender equality has been identified as an effective measure to reduce the spread of HIV/Aids in both rural and urban areas, a National Aids Council official has said.

Addressing a recent stakeholders’ meeting here, the Monitoring and Evaluation Officer for Manicaland, Siebert Hlatshwayo, said “We are happy that women are now getting involved in gender issues as a way to empower themselves. This evidenced by a surge in the number of women who are getting tested and attaining a higher level of education in Manicaland province.”

He said despite the fact that the Ministry of Education, Art, Sport and Culture was still deliberating on the introduction of condoms in schools, a 3.9 percent increase in secondary school students exposed to HIV/AIDS education had been noted in the past year.

He paid tribute to non-governmental organizations such as Family Aids Community Trust Mutare for introducing clinical services at border posts, mainly targeting immigrants and drivers.

“The move by FACT Mutare is a welcome development as it ensures that everyone gets timely treatment wherever they are, “said Hlatshwayo.

He pointed to Mutare Bottling Company as a source of inspiration for HIV/AIDS prevention in the workplace, as it allowed its workers to get circumcised and tested early. The company has also dedicated one hour for HIV/Aids education per week.

“Fighting HIV is everyone`s responsibility so we encourage other employers to emulate their efforts in reducing the spread of the diseases,” he said.