The National, Wednesday October 30th, 2013
THE country has more than 35,000 HIV-AIDS cases of which half are aged between 15 and 19 years, National Care and Support Deputy Director Dr Moale Kariko says.
Moale was speaking at the Central provincial administration meeting with the National AIDS Council Secretariat on Monday.
He said there was a need for an increase in political, community and youth engagement in the HIV/AIDS response.
He said: “Politicians and community leaders have the mandate and public trust to act in the interest of humanity in communities.
“Leaders bear a special responsibility as role models who will encourage others into action.
“HIV/AIDS disproportionately affects children and young people as we see from the infection rates, killing their parents and damaging economic and development prospects.
“The HIV/AIDS epidemic has worsened poverty, led to human rights abuses, threatens development gains and weakens national security and political stability.
“We have seen from other countries the actions of politicians and leaders have had a positive impact on HIV/AIDS epidemic. We can do this by using facts and data to convince our communities, especially our young population that HIV is real, it’s present and is a danger to us.
“Increase awareness to end ignorance and fear, mobilise action by influencing the government, social and community groups to establish public forums on HIV/AIDS.”