Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe Urges Men To Take Larger Role In HIV Prevention

“Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe on Monday opened a national HIV and AIDS conference with a call for the nation’s men to take a larger role in the response to the deadly pandemic, not only for their own health but that of women and children,” VOA News reports (Gumbo, 9/5). Speaking at the conference, Mugabe said, “The role of men in society is unquestionable. It is for this reason that men should take their place in the HIV response, both for their own health as well as in support of women and children … and it is not just treatment, but also a fact of discipline,” Zimbabwe’s Herald writes (9/6).

The four-day conference, themed “Elimination of New HIV Infections in Children, Keeping Mothers Alive,” focuses on reaching Zimbabwe’s 2015 Millennium Development Goal of reducing mother-to-infant transmission to five percent of births from around 25 percent today, VOA reports (9/5). Ministry of Health and Child Welfare Principal Director of Preventive Services Gibson Mhlanga said at the conference that the country “has completed the development of a second national HIV/Aids strategic plan for 2011 to 2015 which is designed to reduce the percentage of HIV infected infants born to HIV-positive mothers,” the Herald writes in a separate article (9/6).