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U.S. Backs Zimbabwean Youth in Fight Against AIDS Stigma

January 29, 2013

U.S. Ambassador to Zimbabwe Bruce Wharton presented a $5,000 grant from the President's Emergency Fund for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) to Africaid, to strengthen and expand the organization's work with HIV-infected youth in Zimbabwe. The awards ceremony celebrated the "strong partnership" between Zimbabwe and the United States, according to Henry Madzorera, Zimbabwe's Minister of Health and Child Welfare.

Forty former winners of the Auxillia Chimusoro HIV and AIDS Alumni Award submitted proposals for youth-focused activities and outreach in Zimbabwe in the competition for the PEPFAR grant. The Auxillia Chimusoro Award honors the memory of the first person in Zimbabwe to disclose publicly that she was HIV-infected. Africaid won the 2012 Auxillia Chimusoro HIV and AIDS Alumni Award for programming that supports Zimbabwe's HIV/AIDS response. Zimbabwe's 2012 World AIDS Day theme was "Getting to Zero -- My Responsibility, Your Responsibility."

Africaid's programming adheres to the "Zvandiri" model, which integrates community-based HIV care, support, and prevention services. The organization plans to use the $5,000 grant to produce a musical DVD, "Make Us the Last Generation To Be Born with HIV" that focuses on HIV-infected children and adolescents. National artists will support the production of the DVD.

UNAIDS estimates there are 150,000 HIV-infected children in Zimbabwe; most of these children contracted the virus through mother-to-child transmission. The United States will give Zimbabwe $95 million in 2013 to support HIV prevention, assist children orphaned by HIV, and strengthen Zimbabwe's healthcare system.

The PEPFAR awards ceremony featured a performance by the Royal B-Boy Hip-Hop Crew of Mbare, winners of the Jibilika Dance Trust during the 2012 World AIDS Day Festival.

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Excerpted from:
Nehanda Radio

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