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Getting to zero: Zero new HIV infections, zero discrimination, zero AIDS-related deaths
Gays and Lesbians of Zimbabwe (GALZ)
December 01, 2013

World AIDS Day is celebrated on 1 December every year to raise awareness about HIV/AIDS and to demonstrate Global solidarity in the face of the pandemic. GALZ’s focus on HIV programming is improving access to prevention, treatment and care services for the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersex Community in Zimbabwe.

The Zimbabwe government has done so much in HIV prevention, Treatment and PMTCT compared to other countries. GALZ applauds the government of Zimbabwe for making tremendous strides in reducing HIV infections With an adult prevalence rate of 13.7% Zimbabwe is one of the five countries hardest hit by HIV and AIDS globally. We commend Government efforts to train nurses to prescribe and manage anti retroviral (ARV) drug treatment. We hope that such initiatives would contribute to increasing access to HIV prevention, treatment, care and support services for marginalised groups as well.

We are concerned that key populations such as men who have sex with men and women, women who have sex with women and men, sex workers continue to be marginalised in HIV programming. The health system should address negative structural factors that prevent the disclosure of sexual orientation as well as maintaining confidentiality that encourages the LGBTI community to seek health services, disclose and address risky behaviour with healthcare workers.

In an effort to attain the three zeros target, HIV surveillance systems in Zimbabwe should not ignore MSM and WSW and the use of evidence specific to the LGBTI community should be considered in designing appropriate HIV prevention programs and services. There is need to create an enabling environment where the exclusion of gay men, MSM and WSW from the HIV prevention, treatment and care services ends.

We believe that Innovative programmes should be put in place to reach the LGBTI community with proper information on preventive and protective methods and support services. We recommend the development of peer-to-peer approaches in an effort to yield better results since not many people are comfortable talking about sex and sexuality issues in public fora.

We call on the Government to consider targeted HIV prevention programmes to be implemented with the engagement and participation of the LGBTI community. We believe that such programmes are necessary to ensure that proper information on preventive, protective methods and the LGBTI community could access support services.

Visit the GALZ fact sheet

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