ZIMBABWEANS have been hailed for their consistency in channelling efforts towards the eradication of stigma and discrimination of people living with HIV and Aids. Speaking at the Auxillia Chimusoro Awards ceremony last week, Health and Child Welfare Minister Dr Henry Madzorera thanked different stakeholders for the decrease in new infections in the country.
"Without national and international partners who contributed to the fight against the stigma that surrounded HIV the progress that the country now boasts of would not have been possible," he said.
The Auxillia Chimusoro Awards seek to honour the exceptional work done by individuals and organisations in the national response to HIV and Aids.
Africaid was this year's winner and received an award grant of U$5 000.
The organisation combines psychosocial support and health services to complement the clinical care provided in Government and private clinics.
Its activities are mostly initiated by teenagers who provide counselling, training and advocacy to their peers to address the problem of stigma among teenagers.
The awards are named after Auxillia Chimusoro, one of the first people in Zimbabwe to openly disclose their HIV status in 1987 at a time when the disease was shrouded in secrecy.
They are funded by the United States Agency for International Development.
Chimusoro's work led to the creation of the Zimbabwe National Network for People Living with HIV/Aids and the National Aids Council to co-ordinate the HIV response within the country.