NAC engages music to fight HIV in Mashonaland West

Ngoni stadium was a lively core of the ‘shanty’ town of Norton this weekend when a host of chat toppers and local artists invaded the town for an HIV and AIDS awareness music gala organised by the National AIDS Council through the District AIDS Action Committee.

By Trevor Makonyonga

The artists who performed at the musical gala include Blessing Shumba, Dobba Don, Apama, Hwindi President, Poda and Killer T.

Speaking on the gala, the District AIDS Coordinator Ms Virginia Tausa said that the concept was to draw people to one centre where they could access free voluntary, counseling and testing service.

She said, “As a nation we adopted the 90 90 90 strategy so we want to test 90% of the nation so that 90% of our population knows their status. A nation can only plan when they know how many people they have who are HIV positive. The musical gala is to draw people’s attention so that they come into the stadium and access VCT and male circumcision for free. We also had BP and blood sugar testing with us”

The musical gala in Norton was the second to be held in Mashonaland West as the first was held a fortnight ago in Kadoma.

Ms Tausa said, “Two weeks ago we held the same in Kadoma and Chegutu is coming next. Every District in Mashonaland West will have these galas. We are encouraging everyone to participate.”

The 90 90 90 strategy means that 90% of the population should get tested, 90% of the positive should be on antiretroviral treatment (ART) and 90% of those on ART should have below detectable level of viral load.

In Norton, the positivity rate has dropped from 48% in 2013 to 16% in 2016.

The gala drew about 3000 people and over 1000 accessed the free medical services that were being offered with over 700 getting tested and at least 40 getting circumcised.