Tag Archives: AIDSTanzania

Club Raises Awareness for Disaffected Children in Tanzania

This article, published in the Arizona Daily Wildcat (the newspaper for the University of Arizona), discusses an international service trip similar to AIDSTanzania at William and Mary. It’s called Support for International Change, and it sends groups of students to Tanzania to promote HIV testing and awareness in northern Tanzania.

As one group member described, the trips are like a study abroad experience, except you’re volunteering as a member of the community and getting involved with helping others, as opposed to just looking. That sums it up quite well. Keep up the good work, Support for International Change!

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Independent Experts Conclude: Comprehensive Sex Ed Works

“At long last, evidence and common sense have returned to public-health policy,” said James Wagoner of Advocates for Youth. “The task force report endorses the comprehensive approach to prevention that includes condoms and birth control. We should be spending taxpayer dollars only on evidence-based programs.”

AIDSTanzania supports the findings of this study, and it’s good to see comprehensive sex education finally get the credit it deserves. Read the full article here.

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HIV Awareness Campaign Yields Results in Tanzanian Village

None of the 2,500 out of 15,000 villagers in Rusaba Village, Kasulu District, Kigoma Region, tested positive for HIV this year between July and September. Local health workers had never come upon such results. They attribute it to an HIV/AIDS awareness campaign conducted by Tanzania Red Cross and Action Aid International, low interaction between villagers and outsiders, and close-knit family structures.

Depending on the size and diversity of the population tested, HIV infection rates can appear distorted. AIDSTanzania, for example, has tested in rural villages during our trips to the Arusha area. In one village, of 100 people tested there were zero positive tests. At face value this is great news. However, a number of factors could be at play: HIV-positive people who know of their infection are usually not going to get tested again; those who suspect they have HIV are afraid to come forward and get tested; and with only 100 tests available, tests go to the aware individuals who show up early because they are already thinking about HIV prevention.

Because the testing in Rusaba Village was of 2,500 of 15,000 people over a period of a few months, we can be confident that it was a representative sample of villagers. These results, and the influential HIV awareness campaign, are something to keep in mind as we work to prevent HIV, encourage testing, and spread education.

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AIDS has Economic Impacts in Tanzania

“But global crisis aside, Tanzania is in a job crisis of its own characterised by the devastating HIV/Aids pandemic and low competitiveness and productivity, experts say,” Damas Kanyabwoya writes for AllAfrica.com.Read the full article here.

It is important for us to remember that HIV has human and social effects beyond the side effects of the disease itself. Jeffrey D. Sachs, author of The End of Poverty, writes that he was shocked during his first visit to Zambia, when many of his Zambian colleagues were incapacitated by AIDS. In his book, he relays how he had never imagined that an illness could be so economically devastating. Indeed, it seems unimaginable to those living in a country like the United States that a disease could have an impact big enough to cause a drain among the working population, even big enough to hurt the economy.

Tanzania faces a similar problem to the one Sachs recognizes in Zambia, and it is exacerbated by malaria, TB, and cholera. When a country is crippled by disease, there is a viscious cycle of disease and poverty – countries do not have the money to fight disease, and so their working populations and schoolchildren are distracted or killed by illness, and thus there isn’t the education or capital to generate money.

Adding economic impacts to the discussion of HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment will help educators, researchers, and leaders fight the disease most effectively.

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Re-visiting an old article…

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!

Max Cameron and Lwanda Mgere during an HIV biology lesson

Max Cameron and Lwanda Mgere during an HIV biology lesson

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A reminder that fighting AIDS should not be the only fight…

A lot of the disease-fighting focus in Tanzania, and in Africa as a whole, is to HIV/AIDS. Many people see this as the overwhelming problem and forget that many people struggle against more basic, more preventable, more treatable diseases – such as cholera.

A cholera outbreak in northeastern Tanzania has resulted in 12 deaths and the closing of schools until November 1 (read more here).

Though AIDSTanzania is primarily focused on HIV/AIDS education and prevention, we have realized the need to broaden our vision. For example, we cannot teach someone about how to prevent contracting HIV when they are struggling with malaria or TB or cholera. Additionally, if someone has one of these diseases their immune system and body are already weakened, and research shows that they may contract HIV more easily while sick. We must start with a comprehensive (or holistic) approach to health and education.

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New HIV/AIDS Care and Treatment Center at Mount Meru Regional Hospital

Arusha Times, Tanzania: Centre Promises New Lease of Life Amid HIV/Aids Threat

Arusha Times, Tanzania: Centre Promises New Lease of Life Amid HIV/Aids Threat

A new HIV/AIDS Care and Treatment Center has just opened at Mount Meru Regional Hospital in the Arusha Municipal, near AIDSTanzania’s community partner the U.A.A.C.C.  The center is funded through PEPFAR (U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief), and it will provide services to the 1.3 million residents of five districts of the Arusha Region and the neighboring Manyara Region.

It will be exciting to see if this new center creates any changes in HIV prevalence or in the perception of availability of treatment options in this area. The Arusha region is a large, diverse region with many people living far away from cities where treatment can be accessed. Perhaps this is an opportunity for a partnership between this Center, AIDSTanzania, and the U.A.A.C.C. in the future…

This Center is sure to create positive change in the lives of those living with HIV in Tanzania and hopefully have an impact on prevention as well.

Read the article here.

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WAN Tests 22 W&M Students Today

Thanks to the Mu Upsilon chapter of Delta Sigma Theta and AIDSTanzania, WAN (Williamsburg AIDS Network) tested 22 students at the College of William and Mary today. Visit http://www.williamsburgaidsnetwork.org/ for more information about WAN’s free HIV testing every week Monday through Thursday 9am-4pm.

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AMREF Launches ‘Angaza Zaidi’

The Arusha Times Logo

The Arusha Times

The Angaza Zaidi program aims to address the issue of HIV/AIDS in Tanzania.  As stressed by president Jakaya Kikwete, one of the main issues is testing – if people know their status, the government can help them and everyone can prevent new infections.  Apparently over 5 million people have been tested in Tanzania since 2007, making it one of the world’s leading testing countries.

It is good to see that our programs are aligning with those of AMREF (African Medical and Research Foundation) and that testing is becoming a huge priority in Tanzania.  Hopefully the Angaza Zaidi program and AIDSTanzania can work together in the future.

Here’s the full article.

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AIDSTanzania wins Service Trip of the Year

At William and Mary’s annual “Celebration of Service” last Tuesday at the Kimball Theater, AIDSTanzania (that’s us, folks!) was honored with the Service Trip of the Year award.

Melody Porter, who presented the award, spoke of our group’s sustainable mission, projects such as the Tusaidiane Center, and drive to expand our reach with a new domestic trip next year.  She also commented on our team’s personality, humor, and spunk, since we had the opportunity of working with her during our most recent trip.

Of course we are honored for the award, but we know that our focus is on Tanzania, on the worldwide AIDS epidemic, and on the work and fundraising that needs to be done in order for our group to continue to make a change.  The speaker of the night, Allison Anoll, inspired us to be thankful for what has already been accomplished but optimistic and dedicated to what lies ahead.

Devin Oller, AIDSTanzania’s past president and graduating senior, was also honored with a “Walk the Talk” senior award for his long-term committment to service and personal sacrifice for others.

Congratulations AIDSTanzania, Devin, and THANK YOU to all of those who make our service possible.

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