"HIV walk, unravels the epidemic
A series of articles by guest writers for World AIDS Day
Part of AVERT's World AIDS Day 2012 campaign, ‘Reflections on the Epidemic’ are a series of articles by guest writers.
Our guest writers range from global leaders, writers, experts, activists, physicians and people personally affected by HIV and AIDS; and they represent various countries, experiences and backgrounds from all over the world.
We are grateful to all our guest writers for their effort and the diverse and insightful viewpoints that they contributed to the world’s response to HIV and AIDS.
You can also see all articles and writers in this series at the end of every article.
Being a mother, a wife and a journalist I have faced HIV in all the facets. Having a supportive husband and children has helped me a lot after testing HIV positive in February 2009. I have gone beyond the diagnosis, it’s now a way of living.
Writing a column, ‘HIV Walk’ for the main state paper in my country Zimbabwe has given me an interactive forum with affected and infected readers. Never before my disclosure in 2009 had there been a journalist in my country to have openly disclosed that they were living positively. My first article was titled: “Time to break the silence is now.”
The response was overwhelming, pregnant mothers poured out their hearts as they had learnt from me that the prevention of mother-to-child transmission programme works, as I was a living testimony with a healthy baby girl who was HIV free.
“I was a living testimony with a healthy baby girl who was HIV free”
With 563,000 people on the waiting list to access ART, it has not been easy to convince more people to get tested for HIV. Currently Zimbabwe has 476,000 on active ART as of March 2012.
Asking people to get tested for HIV therefore meets mixed views. Some people ask: “What’s next after the test, have me die from stress as I await treatment?” which is rather unfortunate but true to some extent.
As a country we are yet to reach universal access. Lack of enough funds hampers the number of people who can be initiated on ART. The country has a home-grown solution, the AIDS Levy, where every worker has 3 percent deducted to go towards the levy. The levy pooled US$24 million in the last year and had used US$15 million to procure ART. This is not enough to cover all those in need of ART but is a noble way. With dwindling donor funding, the need to have more domestic sources is now required with emergency.
Catherine Murombedzi is a mother of four and a journalist for Zimbabwe’s daily newspaper, The Herald, where she writes a regular column about the effects of HIV on Zimbabwean society.
For further information on Zimbabwe, see AVERT's page.
Meeting the challenge of stigma in Iran
Words are not enough: Where is the genuine support for an AIDS-free generation?
Going beyond the silver bullet approach
A new generation of awareness
Mothers at the forefront of change
A few simple actions against AIDS
The reality of beginning the end of AIDS
In the balance — HIV and the Law
Striving for an AIDS free generation of adolescents
A broken unity: An American reflection on the epidemic
Universal access for people who use drugs: Not just a pipe dream
In pursuit of a cure
The future of antiretroviral treatment
Ending paediatric AIDS
A future of possibilities
Riding the waves of HIV
The Paediatric HIV response in the context of AIDS optimism
HIV/AIDS Care begins at home
HIV/AIDS in Uganda: Myth to reality
Why beauty is a great weapon in the fight against HIV/AIDS
HIV Walk, unravels the epidemic
The importance of Parliamentary voices in the AIDS response
Women breaking the stereotype
Resources for a rights based approach to address the HIV/AIDS pandemic
AIDS - It’s not over
Backing the community response
Gogo-getters become elders
Getting to zero
The search for common humanity at the heart of the AIDS response
AIDS is still hot in India
Why involve women with HIV?
All opinions expressed in 'Reflections on the Epidemic' do not necessarily represent those of AVERT.