Forgotten Voices' Mission:

"Demonstrating the love of Jesus Christ by equipping local churches in southern Africa to meet the physical & spiritual needs of children orphaned by AIDS in their communities."

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

HIV/AIDS Union in Zim calls for post-test services

Below is an interesting article about HIV/AIDS care services after testing takes place in Zimbabwe. Holistic care is important to Forgotten Voices, especially if it can be done through the local church as we meet the physical and spiritual needs of people. As the Activist Union says in the article below, not having services available to people after the testing takes place is "a death sentence" to many, as they see no hope or promise. Forgotten Voices recently began funding an ARV program with some rural hospitals that now serves about 155 people at last count and now has a 3 year program delivering homebased care to people that are tested.

Regardless of whether the result is positive or negative, clients of the clinics and church operations we support receive counseling to help them make a positive way forward and understand the implications of their current life choices.

Education is also key, so people understand HIV/AIDS.

The article definitely points to a HUGE problem that we are discovering more about each day: the lack of CD4+ count machines. If people have thoughts on how to get more working machines in there or know of agencies that fix these machines internationally, please contact me directly at Thanks! -Ryan
From Today's KaiserNetwork Daily
Global Challenges | Zimbabwe HIV/AIDS Union Calls on Groups To Provide Post-Testing Services
[Apr 22, 2008]

The Zimbabwe HIV and AIDS Activist Union recently called on organizations involved in the fight against the disease to stop offering HIV tests if they cannot provide post-testing services, the Herald/ reports. ZHAAU President Bernard Nyathi last week during the launch of a treatment program in the city of Bulawayo said that services, such as CD4+ T cell counting, are necessary following HIV tests. "When a person tests positive, the next thing needed is treatment," he said, adding that groups that provide testing "should see to it that the people they have tested receive enough treatment. Testing without treatment is a death sentence."

According to the Herald/, some residents of Bulawayo said that there is a lack of treatment services in the city. All of the CD4+ count machines in the city's governmental hospitals are not functioning, and people continue to receive HIV tests at the hospitals, the Herald/ reports. Nyathi said that all testing facilities should ensure that they have working CD4+ count machines so that they can provide testing and treatment (Herald/, 4/21).

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