Apathy rocks Sinazongwe World AIDS Day Celebrations
By Tovin Ngombe
Most Maamba residents in Sinazongwe district have shunned this yearâ€™s celebration of the World AIDS Day.
A Check by ZANIS found that only handful of members from organizations dealing with HIV/AIDS managed to attend and the entire Maamba coal mine management failed to show up despite having the highest number of workforce in Southern Province.
Despite a mobile van passing through the peopleâ€™s communities to inform them of the World AIDS Day celebration, the attendance was poor and celebrations started late from the schedule of 08:30 to 10:30 Zambian time.
Maamba Ward Councilor Peter Siavuulwe said the organizers did not invite him to attend and he expressed ignorance of the venue.
However, delivering the key not speech Sinazongwe District Commissioner (DC) Lavain Apuleni said about 80 percent of the Zambian population fail to know their HIV status.
Mr. Apuleni said most people fear to have an HIV test because they do not wish to be told whether they were negative or positive.
The DC said it was possible that a person could have HIV but have no AIDS.
Mr. Apuleni told the gathering that HIV/AIDS pandemic threatens peopleâ€™s future because affects the productive age group of between 15- 45.
He urged leaders to be the torch bearers and to show the way for everyone to combat the pandemic.
â€œWe need to double our efforts in dealing with HIV/AIDS pandemic, which is still far from being won,â€ the DC said.
Speaking at the same function Sinazongwe District HIVAIDS Task Force Coordinator (DATF) Lester Nambale told the audience that HIV/AIDS should be halted by the year 2015.
He urged people to take circumcision serious as part of a comprehensive male reproductive health service.
Mr. Nambale said Circumcision has no age limit as even adults could still undergo it.