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CSO position paper on progress on UNGASS 2011
Zimbabwe AIDS Network (ZAN)

April 07, 2011

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Our Position

We, the representatives of civil society actors on Health, HIV and AIDS in Zimbabwe, concur with the Government's position that, considerable progress has been made especially in reducing HIV prevalence from a record 23.7% in 2001, 18.4% in 2005 and 14.3 % in 2009. The combined efforts of government, civil society and other key players is acknowledged.

We are however, gravely concerned that despite such remarkable progress, Zimbabwe still has the third largest HIV burden in Southern Africa with about 1.2 million people living with HIV. Significant gains were made in the scale up of access to antiretroviral treatment from 99 408 (9 594 children) at the end of 2007 to 148 144 (13 278 children) in December 2008 and 218 589 (21 521 children) by end of December 2009. This is 56.1% of those in need of treatment. We re-affirm our concern about the welfare of the 49% of adults and children unable to access treatment.

HIV and AIDS therefore, remains a priority challenge to human development and requires renewed vigour political will and commitment to honor national, regional and international commitments in order to achieve the three zero; zero new HIV infections, zero AIDS-related deaths and zero discrimination and the whole spectrum to universal access. We are accordingly calling on the Government of Zimbabwe to;

  • Immediately put a stop to political violence and commit to bringing about lasting political settlement that will bring about lasting and sustainable peace in the country. The current volatile political situation is largely affecting HIV and AIDS mitigation initiatives such as supplementary feeding schemes and access to health services in general;
  • Implement the Abuja Declaration on HIV and TB - allocate 15% of the national budget to Health, HIV and AIDS;
  • Enact legislation that ensures the rights to health to all citizens regardless of sexual orientation;
  • Decriminalize laws prohibiting accesses to health services for most at risk populations ;
  • Respect basic human rights

This position was reached at after thorough and rigorous consultations by a core group representative of ASOs, CBOs, Networks and Organizations of PLHIV, Youth representatives, Gender Equality focused and Women's organizations, Media and Information organizations and People living with disability. The paper interrogates progress made in achieving universal access to prevention, treatment, care and support as well as the attainment of Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) by 2015.

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