Read the full article here.
Though HIV prevalence is not as high in Zanzibar as in other areas of Tanzania, stigma there is rampant. This UNICEF article, quoting the 2007-2008 Tanzania HIV and Malaria Indicator Survey, indicates that “51 per cent of women and 41 per cent of men would keep it a secret that a family member is infected with the HIV virus.”
UNICEF and ZAPHA+ (Zanzibar Association of People Living with HIV/AIDS) work to combat this stigma and encourage people to get tested. ZAPHA+ provides workshops and counseling for young people living with HIV to help reduce stigma in their communities and help them cope with emotional and health issues. Children living with HIV are empowered to tell their own stories and build strategies to change attitudes.
The model of storytelling was effective this week during a 7-day Young Journalists Workshop at the Zanzibar International Film Festival (ZIFF) Children’s Panorama, where 24 children who are infected or affected by HIV/AIDS had an opportunity to share their experiences and wrote a newsletter that was sent to other schoolchildren in Unguja and Pemba.
Nigel Barker, best known for his appearances on America’s Next Top Model, has directed Generation Free, a documentary about fighting mother-to-child transmission of HIV in Tanzania. The video was available on TVGuide.com but isn’t any longer – if you know where you can view it on the web, please let us know. As sometimes happens with “cause celeb,” celebrities try hard but fail to capture the real facts or over-romanticize efforts. It sounds like this documentary tells the straight and hopeful truth about a real problem with (the key part) a real solution. Hopefully it will inspire others to work toward stopping it so that a generation of children can “live free.” Full article here.
“We shall use basic facts in the messages to communicate effectively because we have realized that the level of knowledge about basic facts on HIV information is quite limited,” said Saul Onyango, senior health educationist with the Uganda AIDS Commission (UAC).
The UAC, after feeling that Uganda’s messages were less successful than hoped, will re-define high-risk sex from “sex with irregular partner” to “anyone whose HIV status is unknown.” An at-risk population now includes anyone engaged in risky sex. Generic warnings about risky sex will now be favored over targeted messages, such as those about inter-generational sex.
“We have to change the destiny of this country, even if it means putting back the drums of the 1980s that used to frighten people,” said UAC director-general, David Kihumuro Apuuli. The center of a 1980s radio campaign in Uganda featured an ominous drumbeat and “AIDS kills.” Some in Uganda would like to see fear-driven campaigns return, believing them to be successful. The other side of the debate worries that scare tactics do not lead to behavior change but encourage fatalism and discrimination.
Those in Uganda’s leadership also voice a worry rarely heard – that funding for HIV prevention programs largely comes from donors and is unsustainable.
A lot to think about. We recommend reading the full article here to gain the most insight.
Visit this William and Mary News link to get a peek into W&M’s take on AIDSTanzania and a great video and slideshow of our group.
The article might be a year old, but it still proclaims AIDSTanzania’s mission, and hey – it’s time to reflect on the past, it’s Homecoming weekend!
On Saturday, April 25 our group is hosting a FREE HIV testing event at the College of William and Mary!
The testing will be provided by WAN (Williamsburg AIDS Network), and will be confidential in the James Room upstairs in the Sadler Center. There will be entertainment by Passing Notes, Reveille, John Kelly and the Quick Snipes, Irish Dance Club, Clayton Perry, and more in Lodge 1 throughout the day, as well as showings of our documentary. We will also be selling our jewelry from Tanzania.
The test WAN is using is a rapid test, meaning it only takes 20 minutes for the results and it just takes a cheek swab!
KNOW YOUR STATUS
Come to the first public screening of our organization’s documentary!
Wednesday, November 19, 7:30pm
Williamsburg Library Theatre, 515 Scotland Street (two blocks from the College and Merchants Square)Sponsored by the Williamsburg Regional Library and W&M’s Swem Library
Written and recorded in January 2008 at Peace Power Productions in Arusha, here is “The Bat Song,” our collaboration with Mgere, Dwee, and the rest of the UAACC crew. Enjoy!