A team of Champions For an HIV free Generations will be coming to Zambia on the 19th – 21 October to meet with the country’s top leaders to encourage an accelerated response to the epidemic.
Former Botswana President Festus Mogae and Chairman of the champions will lead the team to Zambia at the invitation of President Rupiah Banda.
According to a press statement released to ZANIS in Lusaka today by National AIDS Council Spokesperson Justine Mwiinga, the team will meet with President Banda, Parliamentarians, Cabinet Ministers, traditional leadership,Civil Society Organisations and People Living with H IV and development partners.
The Statement noted that the purpose of the Champions visit was to share regional experiences in the response to HIV, gain insight on progress and challenges towards the scale –up of HIV prevention initiatives in Zambia and to also explore possible solutions to reduce new infections.
The high power delegation will include Zambia’s Former First President Dr Kaunda, Uganda‘s former Vice President Dr Speciosa Wandira and Professor. Miriam Were former Chairperson of Kenya ‘s National AIDS Control Council.
The Champions For HIV –free generation project was launched during the 17 international AIDS conference in Mexico city..
The team focuses on the Sub Sahara Africa, home to more than two thirds of all people living with HIV globally. With an emphasis on proven prevention practices , champions embrace and promote key policy, legal cultural and behavioral practices and messages that can help accelerate the social outcomes need to achieve an HIV-free generation.
The Statement further states that the epidemic has had significant impact in Zambia with more women at 16.1 percent living with HIV and AIDS compared to their male counterparts at 12.3 percent.
‘’Girls continue to drop out of school to provide care and support in AIDS-affected households. In 2009, it was estimated that 927,693 people were living with HIV, nearly 83, 000 adults were newly infected with the epidemic, implying that they were, about 200 new infections each day.