HIV Positive MP Challenges fellow MPs to publicly announce their status

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30,392 views

AN HIV/AIDS activist, Princess Kasune Zulu has challenged Members of Parliament (MP) to take bold steps in testing for HIV/AIDS as this would help reduce the stigma, discrimination and fears associated with living with HIV/AIDS.

Ms Zulu, who is United Party for National Development Keembe MP, also urged her fellow lawmakers living with HIV/AIDS to publicly announce their status to encourage their electorate to go for Voluntary Counselling and Testing.

In what ‘appeared’ to be one of the most ‘touching’ and ‘keenly’ listened to maiden speeches, among MPs since creation of Parliament, Ms Zulu, has become the first law maker to publicly known to be HIV positive in the House.

Clad in an ‘eye-catching’ chitenge outfit , the MP seemingly ‘shocked’ other MPs as she happily disclosed that she has lived with HIV/AIDS since 1997, and was saddened that some people are not living ‘freely’ owing to fear to go for VCT to know their status.

HIV/AIDS activist, Princess Kasune Zulu
HIV/AIDS activist, Princess Kasune Zulu

“Not only did I lose my brother and parents to HIV/AIDS, I have been living with the HIV since I was diagnosed in 1997.Mr Speaker, history has been made as I have become the first law maker who is publicly known to be HIV positive, and the first female MP for Keembe constituency since Zambia’s independence in 1964,” she said as scores of MPs hugged her when the House went on a tea-break.

She was disappointed that many people, who have tested positive, were taking their medicines in secrecy due to fear of being stigimatised and discriminated.

The ‘fear’ to go for VCT, she said, should not to be the case considering strides being made in Zambia, and the fact that there was no family not being infected or affected to HIV/AIDS.

She has talked about her status worldwide to leaders like former American President, George W. Bush, leading to authorisation of US$15 billion that came to be known as President’s Emergency plan for Aids Relief (PEPFAR) and the reauthorisation of the US$51 billion global fund for malaria, tuberculosis, and HIV/AIDS.

With disclosure of her status in Parliament, she was confident that it would serve as a ‘beacon’ of hope for those living with HIV/AIDS and other people that being positive was not a ‘death sentence’.

“Mr Speaker, it is for this reason that we as law makers and leaders have a great responsibility at hand to lead in the fight against HIV/AIDS. In so doing, we will be able to reduce the stigma that perpetuates in our society,” she said.

The nation, she said was counting on MPs to show leadership and work together in taking the necessary steps to support the Government’s efforts to fight HIV/AIDS.

On children born with HIV/AIDS, the MP urged Government and other stakeholders to increase sensitisation to young people to appreciation their status with care and support.

In her constituency, she bemoaned the lack of development and called for an increment to Constituency Development Fund to rural constituencies like hers to speed up delivery of development.

She appealed to Government to build more clinics, upgraded road networks, increased beneficiaries of farming inputs, and adequate water provision in Keembe to uplift the welfare of her electorate.

104 COMMENTS

    • +39
      -10
      vote

      What???? She is MP for Keembe , that Shikapwasha lost?
      These are the women deserve ministerial positions, not those 12 of Lungu disfunctional ministers.

    • +29
      -7
      vote

      Yes be blessed. Women are so brave about their health, the men are too scared, hiding and keeping everything secret!!

    • +14
      -22
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      Appreciation of being HIV? I don’t know about appreciation of status. A virus stays dormant in the body until conditions are favourable for it to act. TB, Syphilis, Gonorrhoea, Hepatitis, etc are common ailments that remain dormant. What you are talking about is the publication of medical examination results for all those in public office. What makes HIV special? I think madam MP you are in parliament to discuss community issues in the constituency and make laws for the country. Publication of personal medical results of individuals holding public office is a non-starter. Try the Presidency and the Vice-presidency to have independent medical tests and have their results publicised first.

    • +8
      -13
      vote

      Acceptance of being HIV positive is one thing but championing the sense of pride is another. The stigma attached to HIV is rightly placed and is a deterrent to some of engaging in premarital or unprotected sex. Let the stigma stand. Now, to those who caught HIV through blood transfusion or from their parents this stigma has another meaning. Since their conscience is clear, it is rare for them to shy away from medication or public proclamation of their status. But to those who caught it through promiscuity and infidelity, the stigma haunts them. To ask adulterers to proclaim their status by coercion will lead to false declarations and would endanger the multiple partners. Let them remain suspects so that their prey take precautions.

    • +6
      -11
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      Include all these STDs on the disclosure list: Chancroid, Chlamydia, Crabs (Lice), Gonorrhea, Hepatitis, Herpes, HIV / AIDS, HPV / Warts, Scabies, Syphilis, Trichomoniasis, Yeast Infection, Vaginosis, Yeast in Men, etc.

      It is insulting to think only HIV positive people are the ones living with a stigma and they need some form of disclosure.

    • +14
      -18
      vote

      Ebanakashi aba! Now even HH will come out and be the first opposition leader to announce his HIV positive status

    • +9
      -1
      vote

      She may have been misdiagnosed.
      On the other hand, what she says is not new. There have been HIV positive Members of parliament in the UK, there was an HIV positive senior judge in South Africa, there was Marvin Johnson, the basketball player, and many other high profile persons, but the stigma has not gone away. There are several countries that discriminate against HIV positive people and will not allow them entry or give them work permits. The best way to fight the stigma is to stop talking about HIV/AIDS with fear. It is fear that creates stigma.

    • +7
      -4
      vote

      Princess came out a long time ago. She is re emphasising her point now that she’s MP.
      Reading most comments here one sees how much debate her “disclosure” has excited. We need to talk more about ills that afflict our society.
      How I wish Edward could openly talk about his “issues”, including his fight with substance abue.

    • +5
      0
      vote

      It is not the first time I am hearing about Princess Kasune’s HIV’s status. It was in international news years back when she even went and met former US President G.W. Bush.

    • +4
      -5
      vote

      Ba Mama what do you mean the stigma is rightly placed? Stop being judgemental when you aren’t God. And stop revelling in someone’s predicament cos life has a way of dealing with the snooty ones.
      Nowadays HIV affects lots of Innocent people. Babies who were born HIV positive in the 90s are now big people whom you are intent on stigmatising. Those who are hiv negative shouldnt think they are wiser or holier than the positive ones. Live and let live

    • +3
      -1
      vote

      Dr. Choongo Ian, comprehension is a big problem with you. Read my post again and note what I have written about stigma. There is nothing about playing holy here whatever that might be. Being HIV positive is not a disease or a sin. It is the same as having cancer or Hepatitis. So, I repeat, there is nothing to be proud of so that a person goes around announcing “I’m HIV positive, look at me, Yey!”. What I’m saying is when one has the virus, let them keep it to themselves and not impose a reaction from the masses by announcing their status. Does disclosure change their status or improve their welfare? NO! The stigma is good and those living with the virus must embrace it. It is not only HIV+ people who have a stigma attached to them. All people with disabilities live with the stigma…

    • +4
      -1
      vote

      Cont…
      All people with disabilities live with the stigma but we have removed discrimination policies. No on by law can be fired for being HIV+ or having TB. Living with the disease is one thing and telling the whole world that it is Okay to contract the disease and be proud of it is another. The problem in Africa is we do not know what to champion and when. Just because an HIV+ person is an MP you now want to champion HIV. There is not connection between being MP and being HIV+. So to marry the two as though it is a taboo to be MP and HIV+ is deplorable. HIV+ people are humans also and can do whatever anybody else can do. So I don’t want to look at the MP and say the HIV+ MP, rather I want to look at her as the MP, our law maker. HIV and where she got it is irrelevant to her mandate,…

    • +3
      -1
      vote

      Cont…
      HIV and where she got it is irrelevant to her mandate, let her leave it out of the picture. My elder brother died of AIDS in 1995 after contracting HIV. He was a ladies man and would sleep with anything that moves. He knew too well the presence of HIV and he did not care and the knowledge he had did not deter him from unprotected sex. When he got ill he shied away and did not want people to know he had AIDS. He proudly lived with the virus but when he had AIDS he was ashamed. No one cast a scone but the stigma was in him alone. We the relatives did not shy away and took care of him till his passing. The stigma is in the hearts of those with the disease that is why they feel compelled to proclaim.

    • +3
      0
      vote

      Halloween, its truSchedule for Evaluation Team Visit – November/December 2016 she is married to a Caucasian man. Sara Longwe is married to a whaite man also. Is Longwe a white persons name?

  1. +6
    -8
    vote

    Fantastic woman yet and sadly, in a confused and disorganised opposition party. You’re the type of pipo who are supposed to be in position of VP to move your agenda forward and sensitise the many women especially and indeed children in your condition. Keep it up mama, you’re a STAR

    • +3
      -3
      vote

      Only a forward – looking party like UPND can have such people as MPs. Other parties, MPs are just there for looting.

  2. +12
    -2
    vote

    This is good. You have set a high standard for all law makers and leaders in the nation at large

  3. +9
    -2
    vote

    I think those men MPs who might have had some intentions are shocked. She will not be troubled by any! God bless you Honourable Kasune

  4. +9
    -2
    vote

    Credit is also due to the UPND leadership who adopted her as the party’s parliamentary candidate despite her earlier declared positive status.

  5. +5
    -4
    vote

    next will should be Davies Mwila, Kambwili, Chawama mp etc…the list is endless in this govt and why they are hiding, we do not know.

    • +4
      -3
      vote

      And Dora ….on a serious note, this lady MP has opened a very important issue because even in mature Democracies has this kind of a thing happened! We only hear them declaring that they are Gays and not HIV/AIDS Handicapped. Congratulations my Sister for your courage, wisdom and selfless. You really have Zambia at heart. May you live much, much longer. May I also take this opportunity to congratulate the UPND for giving her chance to live her dream instead of stagnating her. WHERE ARE THE WOMEN ORGANISATIONS TO CONGRATULATE THE UPND?

  6. +5
    -1
    vote

    Very good job, Hon Zulu. Thank you for being brave enough to ‘shout it’ from the roof tops. God bless you.

  7. +6
    -2
    vote

    But she is beautiful eh! Jealous down and with brains in her head. Wish she can be given some serious portfolio to spearhead this important agenda.

    • +1
      -2
      vote

      And his successor MP in Chawama, that hollow-cheeks Sichalwe. These people need to be tested and their results posted on billboards.

  8. +3
    -2
    vote

    This woman is AWESOME. Her BRAVERY deserves a medal. She is a TRUE ACTIVIST FOR HER CAUSE.Am seriously proud of you madam.. HONESTY MAMA IS THE BEST POLICY. At-least you dont have to look over your shoulder every time. God bless you with long life and give you more happiness and make your work easy.Amen. No Wonder you won as MF mama. Your heart is pure…

  9. +9
    0
    vote

    To reveal or to not reveal should remain a matter to be left to an individual or couple to decide. If the sister wants the whole world to go public let her start by legislating against the sacred practice of keeping our medical records secret and sealed. Why passionately urge (more like compel) people to reveal their status when at the same time we still leave the code of secrecy under the doctor’s arm? Absurd and ridiculous. This sounds like stigmatisation in the reverse direction. DON’T ASK, DON’T TELL! Good luck if you have told, but don’t load it on us. Zikomo.

  10. vote

    Dear Hon MP. this is very good breaking news. You are very right that in this country have never heard from the Law makers encourage others by disclosing their status. we are proud of you and your brave action. Living with HIV and disclosure of course is not a forcing matter but to some extent it helps build others who feel they have lost hope.
    There are many Zambians living with HIV for many years, they are open and do what it takes.
    HON MP we walk with you in this fight against HIV and AIDS. we would like that the Members of Parliament also do the following and help many other Zambian in their Constituencies.

    1. Advocate and go for VMMC, this can be done at any age
    2. Advocate and take self test with the family for HIV
    3. Advocate and ensure their wife’s and daughters go…

  11. +3
    -1
    vote

    Great! Let us debate soberly as this virus and disease are real. Let us not point at people who are suspected. God loves all

  12. +2
    -4
    vote

    This lady is happy married to a white man she can not be compared to those useless pf MPS Google about you will read about her work.

    • +3
      0
      vote

      You should just said she’s ‘happily married’ and left it at that. The color of her husband’s skin is of no value to your point.

  13. +6
    -3
    vote

    Disclosure of one’s status is personal. One can be HIV positive without telling the world but ensures that they don’t engage in unprotected s…..I know of an HIV positive woman who has been going to bed with men outside her home town.

  14. +2
    -6
    vote

    These are inspirational we need in Parley…not ***** like Jean Kapata and old grandma like Bo Inonge who go there to pass wind.

    • +3
      -1
      vote

      But remember that some disclose for economic benefits. Am told she has been to U.S. and met Bush, for what reason? Some people are saying she is married to a white dude! Sometimes it is not necessary to praise for the sake of it, think through the whole idea why someone should come out the way they do! I suppose she is very comfortable and that she is only advancing her crusade which gives her extra income.

  15. +2
    -3
    vote

    this lady is an inspiration and not the Mumbi Phiri and Kapata type. tell them including the man in plot 1 to go for testing. the whole country should go for testing and the whole Africa should go for testing. long live princes Zulu

  16. +4
    -2
    vote

    Kudos to this woman but there is also wenye added to it. The PEPFAR fund was as a result of her talking to Bush? Wenye bati. It is not true and this part should be corrected for the readers to have correct information. I hope she can come out clean on it to say the truth

    • +3
      -3
      vote

      She was part of the lobby group. The Americans love seeing beneficiaries to make the case easier for approval by Congress.

    • +4
      0
      vote

      Pepfar program is targeted at the military personnel for certain known reasons. So she is trying to claim too much. Let her just come out in the open as she has done to encourage others in the fighting of the pandemic but cheating that she was part to pepfar is a disgrace on her part. It is not being honorable.

  17. +4
    -1
    vote

    Very strange how some people always want to bring in politics in non political issues. There is life beyond politicking. Its due to such mindsets that some people are backward. The woman decided to release her status, why start judging her? Whether she got the virus through promiscuity or was born with it, it’s irrelevant. No one is perfect, we should learn to embrace others. Even Jesus did not condemn the woman caught in adultery, yet some people think they are holier than Jesus, condemning others. Do unto others as you would have them do unto you

  18. +1
    -3
    vote

    ELC,pls nominate her to be Healthy Deputy Minister.All those living with hiv will be encouraged.Stand and Sing of Zambia.

  19. +5
    -1
    vote

    In Africa people want to be praised for anything. We need to re-examine our role on this earth, we can do better than this. Our country Zambia for example, is still stuck with problems of the 1950s like provision of clean water, basic health care and quality education. someone comes to say she lost a brother and parents from the same disease she has, to me it means a kind of lack of discipline and ability to learn from mistakes of other people (btw this is not a blood transfusion related case). Our lack of investment in quality education for our people is now catching up with us. Nonsense everywhere!

  20. +3
    -1
    vote

    #Zebantuze

    Not that HH will come out and be the first opposition leader to announce he is a free mason.

  21. +1
    -2
    vote

    First of all my apology to all political players maybe my message me injure either side.I just wish to thank The MP for disclosure of her status that she is HIV postive.many fear to go for VCT because of stigma but if such our leaders come in open like that it gives hope as now days people dying fast with HIV/AIDS are those who fail to accept that they are positive. in my own understanding I think she did the right thing.many have gone for VCT because of her.therefore those who wish doing likewise they can go ahead as this is not a forcing matter.I love u all thank you.

  22. +2
    -2
    vote

    Disclosure of ones HIV status is private. There is too much stigma in Zambia as a result people shun going for VCT

  23. +3
    -3
    vote

    If MCS and LPM had been brave enough to know their status early they would have lived for a long time to come…we would not have been deprived of Levy and the rest would have been history. Indeed Hon. Zulu is married to a human being first and the fact that is white is neither here nor there. Hon Zulu has chosen to share her status at every platform so this is nothing new to her. Now where are those MPs that speak of ‘slaughtering’ women at parliament motel; or indeed those who pretend to be best friends and then leopard crawl to the friends lodge to bed their wife?. A hopeless and lost souls. Being Hon. means being above board a role model.

  24. +2
    -1
    vote

    Thumbs up for this brave daughter of Zambia for openly declaring her HIV status. Unlike others claiming to be suffering from achalasia and internal bleeding, this woman has shown true leadership and she will live long. There are many other MPs and high ranking government officials who sick but are too scared to disclose their status.
    Very soon you will hear that one electrol thief is not able to talk or has died of internal bleeding. Check this space. More people are dying of malaria and diabetes than HIV these days. Let other people be brave and follow in the foot steps of this proud daughter of Zambia.

  25. 0
    -3
    vote

    I would like to see Chagwa Lungu, Chimbwili Lukasu Kaschimba, Dora Silit Siliya, Summer Kabimba and Dr Katema also going for the test and coming to parliament to declare their status. You bet all of them wont do it knowing they are positive. I mean, look at Sata, abana ba mufyani bali pyatitiii and so many girlfriends were Penzared by “ubulwele ubushilumbulwa peshina”. And when the disease finally cornered the Kasainese Mnwacusa, he travelled around the whole entire world to find a sangoma to cure him of the obviously incurable ailement and they started ku namizile “multiple organ failure!”. Ala, good milile eyo mulelile kumbali fikesa tulikila pa open space. I hear 90% of Lungu’s cabinet in infected, with the veep being one of the few “baba sika yambiwa in ncwa ya lifaasi”.

  26. vote

    Comment:keep up Hon Zulu…..u have uplift hearts of those who are downhearted with this virus

  27. +1
    -1
    vote

    In what ‘appeared’ to be one of the most ‘touching’ and ‘keenly’ listened to maiden speeches, among MPs since creation of Parliament, Ms Zulu, has become the first law maker to publicly known to be HIV positive in the House.

    I agree. Since Creation of Parliament, we have never heard such things.

  28. +3
    -1
    vote

    Thumbs up my sister continue with the good work you have started. God will bless you abundantly, good role model.

  29. +4
    0
    vote

    Crap crap crap. It comes from HechiHechi team. I could have said thumbs up if it came from PF or UNIP. These are just glory seekers. LOL.

  30. +5
    -3
    vote

    I knew this woman from luanshya. This girl has never been hiv positive. She claims to be positive living that the well wishers can donate. She has actually suceeded in life through her cheatery way. Am only surprised that she is mp. The hiv part is a lie.

  31. +7
    0
    vote

    Who said HIV is an issue in Zambia. Its hunger bane not HIV. Even herself is looking good because she can feed herself well. Those who know this woman say that she is just glory seeking and dramatising – nothing to do with her status – NO. She is a lier.

  32. +4
    -1
    vote

    She’s indeed a warrior princess. I can’t imagine myself(if I was a carrier) coming out in public that am HIV positive. Some people are so bold.

  33. +2
    0
    vote

    Good for her and her family…..very brave woman I might add. KK revealed that his son died of AIDS, the first president in the world to do so. We need leaders like her and KK to demystify the HIV/AIDS conundrum. You have my admiration madam. Bravo.

  34. +2
    -2
    vote

    Please we now want so called president lungu to lead by example and also publish his hiv test results so that our youth can follow his steps. Why are they so secretive with lungu’s health when we pay for his medical bills!

  35. +1
    -1
    vote

    Comment:what a brave and courageous woman.U have conquered the world.Thumbs up for Honourable Kasune.

  36. +1
    -1
    vote

    You are such a brave person madam.it is good to encourage others on how to live positive.you are a woman of steel GOD bless and prolong your life.and for you whose name is MAMA be wary of your silly comments on such important issues

  37. vote

    Good for her. Respect for others choices on the matter is a must. The big push should be to encourage Zambians to take precautions even celibacy among the single young ones. This is a disease that can be controlled by personal choices except in small incidences of accidental contractions via bloods etc. campaign to encourage people to consider their welfare through positive personal choices is necessary. I am a celibate of over 22years by choice. Never hurt me none, am healthy and strong. Others too can enjoy the freedom and peace of mind that comes with it.

  38. 0
    -1
    vote

    Some people don’t want to out in open so that they can deliberately infect others. In developed countries if you infect others while knowing that you are infected you go to jail.

  39. 0
    -1
    vote

    i respect this lady. she is a visionary and she needs our support. she is better than most of the PF MP’s

  40. +2
    0
    vote

    How did she get it? If it was through s.ex then I understand why Africa is where it is. Look at the number of people applauding her here, unbelievable!

    OK sleep with someone’s husband, get infected and go and announce it in Parliament, then you’re a wise person. ARVs only work for so long. Stop making light. Mukapwa ba K.apoli.

  41. vote

    @Kamikoti, people learn from their mistakes. this lady has learned from her mistakes and she is helping others. She’s a ray of hope for Zambia and to Zambians. she is not just making noise and she has done more than what Lungu has done for Zambia. Example, Lungu has been a take take from Zambians but Zulu has been a give give to Zambians.

    • vote

      @KK Airport Cabinet. Who is she helping and how? How many men are going to be put off by her declaring she is positive if those looks in the pic are anything to go with? How many women have gone on to get married to rich men despite knowing their 1st wives died from AIDS?

      The fact that she says I diagnosed in 1997 makes it worse. There will be tools saying, oh well, I’ll also live that long.

  42. vote

    My of my friends here have tried the new cure and have all now tested negative, dont know , but probably you can also come try this
    Just touched with your story, but its up to you wether to wait for WHO approved or not

  43. vote

    we should be in an era where hiv/aids is just lie a normal ailment, which is well managed to prolong lives.

    it is happening in other countries, let us continue to promote it in zed.

    Zambia should stand out because the rate of infection so so high one needs to simply say…..let us stand together.

    Thanks madam MP

  44. vote

    Some of these comments are so unnecessary people here seem to have personal issues just commend the lady for being brave enough to stand up and tell the world her status

  45. vote

    Comment:am 19years nd am very proud of you madam you just don’t know what you have just to a lots of as people living a positive life, we need such people in our country stay blessed and you have earned my support love you for that

  46. vote

    Woman of great humour!!. Nkandu Luo and Davis Mwila must follow suit.. it’s surprising the DULL AND CORRUPT DAVIES MWILA WHO LITERALLY FAILED TO ORGANISE HIS CONSTITUENCY HAS BEEN GIVEN THE JOB TO ORGANISE A PARTY.. WHAT A FALLACY!!

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