by Wallace Mwengwe
On the 1st of December, Zambia joined the rest of the world in commemorating World AIDS Day (WAD). The theme this year is “Universal Access and Human Rights.” This highlights the need to protect human rights and attain universal access to HIV prevention, treatment, care and support. It aims at addressing the critical need to protect human rights and remove discriminatory barriers to universal access to prevention of HIV and AIDS by helping people keep their promises using the slogan, “Stop AIDS. Keep the Promise.”
I was in Ndola (provincial capital of Copperbelt Province) on this day. A candlelight memorial service was held at the Anglican Cathedral of the Holy Nativity Church. It was a multi-denominational church service where we remembered those who have died due to HIV and AIDS as well as those who are affected by it. The significance of the candlelight was that there is still hope despite the furiousness of the pandemic. The commemoration started on 30th November.
At the Candlelight service, there were various activities performed such as drama, songs and poems by some Children from Arthur Davison Hospital (the only pediatrics hospital in Zambia), and a testimony from a man who is HIV positive. This was all done in order to pass on the information to those who were still ignorant of HIV and AIDS.
If you are not infected then you are affected by this pandemic. “Stop Aids. Keep the Promise”