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Lifeline for women living with HIV

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BY PRAISEMORE SITHOLE

The United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and Empowerment of Women, UN Women and UNAids have rolled out a global toolkit for action on gendered response to HIV and Aids using film.

The screening of the film will initially target Harare, Bulawayo, Midlands, Manicaland, Mashonaland West and Masvingo provinces.

The film Making the HIV Response Work for Women Through Film: A Toolkit for Action, popularly known as the PILI Toolkit for Action, is about a woman living with HIV making difficult choices, fighting stigma, and building her agency.

The PILI Toolkit for Action helps to identify existing gaps in the HIV response, key issues women living with and affected by HIV face and actions that are required to address these challenges.

Launching the rollout programme in Bulawayo on Wednesday, UN Women country representative Delphine Serumaga said the programme sought solutions around HIV-related issues.

“PILI Toolkit rollout is meant to train facilitators across the country on how to use the film as a vehicle for generating discussion and propose solutions around HIV-related issues affecting women in communities,” Serumaga said.

“There is a need to link HIV-related issues affecting women to broader processes of change for gender equality and improving the HIV response.”

She said evoking sustainable accountability towards women living with HIV was important in making a worthwhile impact in improving the wellbeing and support to HIV positive women.

Speaking during the presentation on problems being faced by women, one of the participants Lakinesw Zimanyiwa said access to ARVs in the rural areas was still a challenge.

“Access to ARVs in Matobo rural areas still remains a challenge. Ward 3 women still have challenges in accessing female condoms,” he said, adding some women were travelling for long distances to access treatment.

UN Women in Zimbabwe has been supporting networks and organisations of women with HIV to articulate common agendas, define solutions that better respond to their challenges, and participate more fully in social and economic opportunities and in responses to HIV and COVID-19.

More recently, UN Women has also supported the development of the Zimbabwe national Aids strategic plan.

Follow Praisemore on Twitter @TPraisemore

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