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U.S. to host HIV/AIDS awards ceremony

U.S. to host HIV/AIDS awards ceremony

Harare, January 24, 2013: This Thursday the United States Embassy will honor Africaid, a local nongovernmental organization, as the winner of the annual Auxillia Chimusoro HIV and AIDS Award.  During the ceremony Africaid will receive a grant award to produce an HIV/AIDS-themed awareness-raising musical DVD.  Dr. Henry Madzorera, Minister of Health and Child Welfare, U.S. Ambassador Bruce Wharton, and relatives of the late Auxillia Chimusoro will all give remarks.  Entertainment will include music from the College of Music and hip-hop dance performances by the Royal B-boy Crew of Mbare, winners of Jibilika Dance Trust’s World AIDS Day Hip-Hop Festival.   

Background

This year’s Auxillia Chimusoro HIV and AIDS Award was open to roughly 40 individuals and organizations considered alumni, or those who previously won the award since its inception in 2000. The awards recognize and reward individuals and organizations who have demonstrated commitment and courage in reducing stigma and discrimination, thereby mitigating the effects and impact of HIV/AIDS in Zimbabwe and contributing to the national response to HIV/AIDS. 

Traditionally, the awards are based on nominations from the public. However, the 2012 awards asked that alumni submit proposals detailing how they would spend a single $5,000 award. 14 submitted proposals that were adjudicated by a panel of judges including representatives from USAID, the National AIDS Council, the Centers for Disease Control/Zimbabwe, and the Public Affairs Section.

Africaid’s grant will support young people living with HIV to produce an HIV/AIDS-themed awareness-raising musical DVD.  The organization said it is confident the project will help to make Zimbabwe’s current “children and adolescents the last generation to be born with HIV.” 

The awards are named after Auxillia Chimusoro, the first person in Zimbabwe to publicly disclose her HIV positive status in 1989 at a time when stigma and discrimination was common.  She founded the Batanai HIV/AIDS Support Group in 1992 and was one of the founders of the Zimbabwe National Network of People Living with HIV/AIDS.  She also worked with several support groups before her death in June 1998. 

Since 2005, the U.S. government has invested over $390 million in Zimbabwe toward the response to HIV/AIDS.  This year alone, the US has provided over $95 million to the national HIV/AIDS response in Zimbabwe through the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) to support critical health interventions designed to prevent more HIV infections; to scale-up combination prevention initiatives; to assist those orphaned by HIV and other vulnerable children; and to strengthen the Zimbabwean health system.

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 Inquiries should be directed to Jillian Bonnardeaux, Assistant Public Affairs Officer, hararepas@state.gov, Tel. 758800/1