HIV Status Disclosure during Dating: The Sisyphean Task Facing Young People Living with HIV In Zimbabwe

By Michael Gwarisa in Chinhoyi For 21-year-old Joseph Mwashipe* from Cherima in Chinhoyi, Mashonaland West, living with HIV as a young person has presented him with a whole set of challenges.  Even though he is studying towards an engineering program, he feels his dating life is currently weighing him down mentally. “Ukangomuudza chete kuti uri HIV positive zvinobva zvadhakwa (The moment I disclose my HIV positive status, the girl disappears from the picture),” says Joseph. “I don’t know whether I should continue disclosing or not because it seems the more…

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Over 6,000 Children and Young People Virally Suppressed through Zvandiri’s Game-changer Project

THE Game-Changer program that was being implemented by Zvandiri, through a five year US$20 Million grant support from the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) through USAID and the Centre for Diseases Control (CDC) has resulted in the consistent uptake of Antiretroviral Therapy (ART) has attained 94% Viral Load (VL) suppression. By Michael Gwarisa Among some of the key achievements of the Fame Changer project include a Viral Load (VL) Coverage of 74% (6800/9191)  and cumulatively, Zvandiri supported 412 health facilities on the Game Changer grant with over…

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CeSHHAR Awarded Templeton World Charity Foundation Grant To Implement Zvandiri Project

Dr. Webster Mavhu, CeSHHAR Deputy Director, has been competitively awarded a three-year grant from the Templeton World Charity Foundation to implement the project “The Zvandiri (As I am) character strength and its constructs among adolescents living with HIV in Zimbabwe”. This project will examine and measure how the Zvandiri programme can sustainably engage adolescents living with HIV (ALHIV) to develop the character strengths embedded within the indigenous concept of ‘Zvandiri’ (accept me as I am), so that they can flourish and live well within their communities. This project builds on…

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Bridging The ART Access Gap During A Pandemic, CATS Hold The Fort In Zimbabwe

WHEN the COVID-19 was reported in Zimbabwe in 2020, government announced a national lockdown with the view of curbing the spread of the virus and limiting community transmissions. In the process other essential health services were also locked down, leaving People Living with HIV (PLHIV) especially young people living with HIV and on Antiretroviral Therapy (ART) at a disadvantage. By Michael Gwarisa recently in Mashonaland East With tight restrictions, fears of young people on ART falling by the wayside were rife as in most cases, young people would shun visiting…

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Africaid-Zvandiri Improves Viral Load Testing Coverage in Beitbridge

THE Zvandiri Program supports and cares for children, adolescents and young people living with HIV (CAYPLHIV) aged 0-24 years. The organization began working in Beitbridge in all 19 health facilities, in October 2020, with funding from USAID. By Africaid Zvandiri Before implementation started, the Ministry of Health and Child Care (MoHCC) and Africaid-Zvandiri conducted a baseline survey which showed that only 345 out of 1845 (19%) CAYPLHIV in the district had a documented and valid viral load (VL) result. Shortages of testing reagents at the district laboratory, transportation of blood…

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Africaid Suspends Zvandiri Program In Nine Districts

AFRICAID says it will be suspending its Zvandiri initiative from Zaka, Insiza and Gutu and other six districts for the period October 2018 to September 2019, amidst indications that there has been a 67 percent cut in the level of funding from donors for the period the forthcoming year.   By Michael Gwarisa The Zvandiri program, run by Africaid, began in Zimbabwe in 2004 as a support group model for adolescents living with HIV. This program provides differentiated care for children, adolescents and young people living with HIV (aged 6–24…

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Zvandiri Initiative Revives Hope In HIV+ Adolescents

HUMAN beings desire love, friendship and family, without these crucial elements, humanity ceases to make sense.   By Kudakwashe Pembere Recently in Banket Regardless of age, people living with HIV have to face serious stigma and discrimination in the societies they live in on daily basis. The situation becomes worse in young adolescent boys and girls who at times default on their medicines due to fear of being labelled by friends or schoolmates. According to the Ministry of Health and Child Care Estimates (2015) in Zimbabwe, the estimated total number…

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Why is treatment adherence difficult for young people?

“When I found out I was HIV positive, I felt lonely and angry,” said Ntsiki, 22, from Swaziland. “I just needed someone to help me, to give me advice and counselling, to explain to me how I am going to take my treatment; at the right time, the right way, consistently.” BY JENNY BERG Ntsiki is now a Community Adolescent Treatment Supporter (CATS) providing peer-to-peer information, counselling and support to adolescents and young people living with HIV. I met her during a recent visit to Swaziland while producing a film…

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USAID Avails US$20 Mln To Africaid To Scale Up Zvandiri Model

By Michael Gwarisa THE U.S Agency for International Development (USAID) has availed a US$20 million grant towards HIV treatment, care, and support services for youths in particular those living with HIV. The grant is being awarded to a Zimbabwean private voluntary organization, Africaid who are spearheading the Zvandiri model which is targeted at young people who were born HIV positive. Speaking during the signing ceremony, USAID/Zimbabwe Mission Director Stephanie Funk said “USAID is proud to partner with Africaid to help Zimbabwean children and adolescents live longer, healthier lives. The United…

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