Abigail Mzimbawakhe (Midlands Correspondent)
In a bid to fight HIV, the National AIDS Council (NAC) recently joined forces with Gweru artists and DJs to carry out an HIV anti-stigma clean-up campaign at Mkoba 6 Shopping Centre.
NAC District AIDS Coordinator, Murari Hwingwiri said the clean-up campaign was mainly aimed at dragging attention of the people so that they can learn how to fight HIV and avoid stigmatisation.
“Stigma is one of the key drivers of HIV as it acts as a barrier for the populace to get HIV services that include getting tested and receiving treatment due to fear of being stigmatised by fellow residents. The anti-stigma clean-up campaign was aimed at raising awareness within the Mkoba community on the need to fight HIV not the persons with HIV. Rather, communities should be tolerant and accommodative of those who are living positively as it encourages adherence to treatment if there is community support”, said Mr Hwingiri.
He went on to say that artists and journalists from Zvikwengwere and Artist Against HIV and AIDS (AAHA) played a vital role in distributing pamphlets with anti-stigma messages and also did corporate responsibility by cleaning up the Mkoba 6 Shopping Centre.
The leader of the DJs and artists Wilton Doba populary known as Legion said that the clean-up campaign that they held at Mkoba 6 was themed in the fight against stigmatisation of HIV infected people.
“We did a clean-up campaign at Mkoba 6 which was themed in the fight against stigmatisation of HIV infected people so we encouraged people not to alienate themselves from HIV infected people. We gave them pamphlets with information pertaining stigmatisation as well as cervical cancer,” said Legion.
Various HIV and AIDS organisations were present and they offered a number of services that include HIV testing as well as educating people about HIV and AIDS.
Thereafter there was some soccer event at Mkoba Stadium where artists and DJs battled against Econet and Netone. Netone football club scooped the award.