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Zimbabwe AIDS Conference Ends With Call for Political Commitment Against HIV


The conference was galvanized by the opening comments of President Robert Mugabe who said men must be more fully involved in the fight to stop the transmission of HIV, the virus that causes AIDS

A Zimbabwean national conference on HIV and AIDS ended on Thursday in Harare with participants urging greater political will to back the fight against acquired immune deficiency syndrome and an expanded role for men in that battle.

The conference was galvanized by the opening remarks of President Robert Mugabe who said men must be more fully involved in the fight to stop HIV transmission.

Participants called for a stronger partnerships between the government and the private sector through the Zimbabwe Communications Strategy 2011-2015, launched at the conclusion of the conference by the Health Minister Henry Madzorera.

Delegates agreed on the need for the government and non-governmental organizations to use resources more efficiently to reduce dependence on donors, and to operate with greater accountability to those providing funding for their work.

Youths attending the conference bemoaned their limited involvement in the response to HIV, and Ministry of health officials promised to address this in future.

Participants looked at factors contributing to the spread of HIV, including the economic downturn and related poverty, as well as broader development issues.

For a closer look at the conference and its resolutions VOA Studio 7 reporter Sandra Nyaira turned to National Aids Council Programs Director Raymond Yekeye and Dr. Angela Mushavi, an HIV specialist with the Ministry of Health.

Yekeye said one key strategy is to place greater responsibility on men and youth to fight HIV. Mushavi said the ministry will need to make some policy changes to accommodate the conference resolutions, including an expanded role for men in stopping HIV.

[An earlier version of this story misspelled Dr. Mushavi's name. We regret the error.]

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