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NGOs Launch Zimbabwe HIV Index Research Initiative

A patient suffering from HIV is taken to a local hospital in Harare, January 31, 2012.
HIV/AIDS service organizations on Tuesday launched an HIV stigma index research initiative to assist them in coming up with policies and programs to reduce HIV-related stigma, discrimination and related issues.

Speaking at the launch in Seke, Mashonaland East Province, national stigma index co-ordinator, Tonderai Chiduku of the Zimbabwe Network of People Living with HIV, said the initiative is important because many people living with HIV/AIDS face discrimination, prejudices and negative attitudes.

This, he said, restricts their rights and freedoms.
Bishop Chad Gandiya of the Harare province of the Anglican Church of Central Africa, who attended the launch, said his church is fully committed to helping deal with the stigmatization of people living with HIV/AIDS.

Latest statistics show accepting levels towards people living with HIV/AIDS among the general population stands at 39 percent among men and 40 percent among women.

Zimbabwe is targetting to increase the acceptance levels to 60 percent among men and 75 percent among women by 2015.