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Zimbabwe AIDS Activists Encouraged by Youth Participation At AIDS Conference

Zimbabwean HIV/AIDS activists attending the International AIDS Conference in Mexico City say they are encouraged by the visible presence and participation of youth there.

Executive Director Lynde France of The Center, a Harare AIDS treatment and counseling agency, said Zimbabwean youth facing a major AIDS pandemic stand to benefit from such gatherings which provide an opportunity to them lobby on rights and other key issues.

Francis said delegates at the conference are expressing concern about the political situation in Zimbabwe, and how it is affecting HIV/AIDS programs on the ground.

Activist Martha Tholana of the Network of Positive Women, in Mexico for the conference, said it is also encouraging to note that some HIV/AIDS groups have sponsored women from the country's rural areas to attend the conference, as it is vital for all people infected or affected by HIV/AIDS to get the necessary information.

But Francis told reporter Carole Gombakomba of VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe that while the conference has much to offer youth, the presence of more than 22,000 participants could be overwhelming for those seeking information on progress fighting HIV/AIDS.

More reports from VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe...