July #49 : The Power of One: Zimbabwe - by Linda Ncube

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Table of Contents

The Power of One

The Power of One: Senegal

The Power of One: Uganda

The Power of One: Zimbabwe

The Power of One: Zambia

World Weary

South Africa's Moment of Truth

Back to the Roots

Chain Reactions: Medicine Woman

Chain Reactions: Poetic Justice

Chain Reactions: Ray of Hope

Chain Reactions: Reluctant Witness

Guest Editor's Letter

To the Editor

Bath Sides Now

Walk the Talk

Rubber Suit

Memo Demo

Dread Locked

PWAs vs. Y2K

Jail Break

Say What

Gender Agenda

Simon Nkoli


POZarazzi: Spring Sprung

License to Kill

Keep HOPE Alive

POZ Picks

Show & Tell

The Holistic Truth

Get Over It

Sugar on Top

Cheer to Adhere

Gene Pool

Cream Puff

The Protease Prison

Out in Africa

Where to Find It

Grandma’s Recipe

Grace Under Pressure

Most Popular Lessons

The HIV Life Cycle


Herpes Simplex Virus

Syphilis & Neurosyphilis

Treatments for Opportunistic Infections (OIs)

What is AIDS & HIV?

Hepatitis & HIV

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July 1999

The Power of One: Zimbabwe

by Linda Ncube

Leadership is local

Zimbabwe, a southern Africa nation rich in natural resources but governed by the autocratic Robert Mugabe, is notorious for having both the world's highest infection rate and -- not coincidentally -- its worst record against AIDS. In the absence of a comprehensive government strategy, NGOs have taken on most of the burden, especially in the two largest cities, Harare (the capital), where PWAs founded The Centre, and Bulawayo.

For a decade, the leading organization in Bulawayo has been the Matabeleland AIDS Council (MAC), launched by concerned locals who foresaw the devastating effect the epidemic would have. The group, which is funded primarily by international aid groups with a little help from the government, has focused mainly on prevention programs and support for people with HIV. It currently has about 1,000 regular clients, although it reaches thousands more through outreach programs including drop-in counseling, phone and mail answering services, home visits and training for home care.

On the prevention front, MAC's Youth STD/HIV Prevention Program is based on the sophisticated peer-education approach and provides teens with information about how to avoid pregnancy as well as all STDs, not just HIV. Ndumiso Mnkandla, a peer educator from Hillside Teachers College, says, "In colleges we have come up with methods to catch the attention of our colleagues, such as debates, quizzes and video shows. We need to help each other watch our behavior and minimize the spread of HIV."

MAC's most important innovation may be its most recent one -- a public awareness campaign to change the way AIDS is viewed in Zimbabwean society. MAC officials gave more than 40 journalists from around the country a crash course in HIV's myths and realities, and as a result some media members have combined to form a working group to establish guidelines for reporting on AIDS and have a forum to discuss their own prejudices and fear.

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