Leaps and Bounds: HOPE for AIDS Zimbabwe

Tuesday, 11 July 2017 Leaps and Bounds: HOPE for AIDS Zimbabwe
This August, SIM Zimbabwe National Director Caiphas Ngarvihime and his wife Sekai will be visiting Australia! Caiphas will share an encouraging message about how Christ’s love is being demonstrated to those living with HIV and AIDS. He will give an update on SIM’s HOPE for AIDS projects in Zimbabwe. Click here to find out more!

The story of HIV in Zimbabwe

Zimbabwe has progressed leaps and bounds in recent times in addressing its HIV and AIDS epidemic. The first AIDS case in the country was reported in 1985 and was largely denied by some politicians who did not acknowledge the gravity of the problem and were concerned that talking too much about AIDS would chase tourists away.

The disease reached its peak in Zimbabwe in the mid-90s when HIV prevalence peaked at 27.7% of the population.

Today, HIV prevalence is roughly 14.6% per cent of the population. The rates of infection are significantly higher amongst women than men.

Combatting HIV is closely linked with combatting poverty, as the two are in many case entwined. Many people with HIV fall into poverty as they face the burdens of paying for treatment and community stigma that makes it hard to find work. Or, people living in poverty are less likely to access education about HIV and become more vulnerable to infection.

Migrants and sex workers were identified by UN AIDS as the most vulnerable of all groups.

While HIV and AIDS remains a significant struggle for the country, they are making significant progress and are on track to meeting the UN’s ambitious ‘90-90-90’ targets. By 2020, the UN hopes that 90 per cent of people with HIV will be diagnosed, 90 per cent of those diagnosed will receive HIV treatment and 90 per cent of those on treatment to be effectively treated and achieve suppression of their infection.

Stepping into the gap: SIM’s HOPE for AIDS projects

Compelled by Christ’s love, SIM’s HOPE for AIDS projects in Zimbabwe have stepped into the gap to try and meet human need. SIMaid, SIM Australia’s aid and development arm, supports three HOPE for AIDS projects in Zimbabwe:

Operation Neighbour Care
Orphans and Vulnerable Children
Home-Based Care

All three of these projects assist people living with HIV and AIDS by training volunteers to care for the sick and by providing financial assistance medicine, food packs and infant formula, hospital fees, education and school supplies.


Sarai’s Story

Sarai* was born on the 13th of August, 2012. She was left under the care of her grandma, who is advanced in age and has no source of regular income.

Sadly, Sarai was born HIV positive and also experienced retarded growth. Both her parents died of HIV and one her uncles has also stunted growth related to HIV. Although Sarai was taking antiretroviral medicine, food was scarce at home so she was taking it on an empty stomach which limited its effectiveness.

When HOPE for AIDS came into contact with Sarai and her grandmother, they were able to assist the family through providing food. At first, they helped with milk formula. When Sarai was weaned, they started giving her solid food like peanut butter and the Zimbabwean staple food called sadza, which is like a thick porridge. They also introduced fresh vegetables and fruit into her diet to help aid her growth.

HOPE for AIDS Zimbabwe was able to organise some physical therapy to help Sarai strengthen the weak parts of her body. Praise God – today Sarai is a much stronger, healthier little girl. Her legs that had no strength are now able to carry her and she can run! While the road ahead will be difficult, Sarai is receiving the care she needs to continue to grow and flourish.
Would you like to partner with SIM Australia in giving hope to vulnerable children impacted by HIV and AIDS in Zimbabwe? Your tax-deductible donation will help children like Sarai by providing essential care such as food and therapy. Click here to find out more.

*Name changed to protect identity
Representative imaged used

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