News / Africa

Zimbabwe Parliament Members Go 'Under the Knife'

Scene inside Zimbabwe's parliamentScene inside Zimbabwe's parliament
x
Scene inside Zimbabwe's parliament
Scene inside Zimbabwe's parliament
HARARE - Zimbabwe's parliament joined a campaign this week to combat the spread of the AIDS virus, and the stigma associated with the disease.  Dozens of parliament members were tested for HIV infection, and some of men in the chamber went a big step further - allowing themselves to be circumcised, which reduces the chance they might spread the virus. The campaign is led by a group known as Zimbabwe Parliamentarians Against HIV and AIDS.
 
After the speeches and music, 23 members of parliament went to meet a surgeon waiting in a nearby clinic.  Leading the pack of MPs to be circumcised was Blessing Chebundo, head of Zimbabwe Parliamentarians against HIV and AIDS.

"Initially I thought I was going to have a lot of pain…It was imaginary in my mind… I feel like I can go in the football field and play the game," Chebundo said.

Male circumcision has proven to reduce the chance of HIV transmission by at least 60 percent.  Chebundo said he now wants officials in Zimbabwe's unity government to do what Zimbabwean MPs did this week.
 
Three months ago, President Robert Mugabe said he worried that many senior members of his ZANU-PF party were dying of HIV-related ailments.  The president said he believes that politicians revealing their HIV status will help combat the spread of the virus and reduce the stigma of HIV.  But the 88-year-old president has not made public his own HIV status.  No one knows if Mr. Mugabe has even been tested for HIV.  

Marvellous Khumalo explains why he is among lawmakers who got tested and circumcised:

"It is for personal benefits… You would understand that being circumcised reduces the rate of infection by 60 percent.  And I am doing this for the people I represent… to urge the men and boys from there to follow and be smart," Khumalo said.

MP Chebundo thinks the media has a role to play as well.

"With your help to publicize what we have done, I am sure people will come of their shells and follow suit and this is the intention of why we are doing it.  We want to inspire the people we represent. From here we're going to our constituencies.  We go as a group and preach and encourage... leading dignitaries to follow suit and this is going to happen," Chebundo said.

The HIV prevalence rate in Zimbabwe has dropped steadily for over a decade, falling to 13 percent in 2009.   That still left about 1.2 million Zimbabweans living with the virus as of that year.

You May Like

Photogallery Americans Celebrate Thanksgiving With Feasts, Festivities

Holiday traditions include turkey dinners, 'turkey trots,' American-style football and New York parade with giant balloons More

Video For Obama, Ferguson Violence is a Personal Issue

With two years left in term, analysts say, president has less to lose by taking conversation on race further More

Video Italian Espresso Expands Into Space

When Italian astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti headed for the ISS, her countrymen worried how she would survive six months drinking only instant coffee More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
South Africa Sees Male Circumcision as Way to Reduce HIV Infectionsi
X
November 28, 2014 3:31 PM
South Africa remains plagued by AIDS despite massive government and NGO efforts on prevention and life-sustaining Anti-Retro-Viral programs. But the country has opened up another front to reduce new HIV infections: promoting circumcision. Emilie Iob reports for VOA News from a pioneering circumcision center in Orange Farm, Johannesburg.
Video

Video South Africa Sees Male Circumcision as Way to Reduce HIV Infections

South Africa remains plagued by AIDS despite massive government and NGO efforts on prevention and life-sustaining Anti-Retro-Viral programs. But the country has opened up another front to reduce new HIV infections: promoting circumcision. Emilie Iob reports for VOA News from a pioneering circumcision center in Orange Farm, Johannesburg.
Video

Video To Make A Living, Nairobi Street Vendors Face Legal Hurdles, Physical Violence

The Nairobi City Council has been accused of brutality in dealing with hawkers in the Central Business District - in order to stop them from illegally selling their wares on the streets. Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.
Video

Video For Obama, Ferguson Violence is a Personal Issue

Throughout the crisis in Ferguson, Missouri, President Barack Obama has urged calm, restraint and respect for the rule of law. But the events in Ferguson have prompted him to call — more openly than he has before — for profound changes to end the racism and distrust that he believes still exists between whites and blacks in the United States. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video Online Magazine Gets Kids Discussing Big Questions

Teen culture in America is often criticized for being superficial. But an online magazine has been encouraging some teenagers to explore deeper issues, and rewarding their efforts. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky went to this year’s Kidspirit awards ceremony in New York.
Video

Video US Community Kicks Off Thanksgiving With Parade

Thursday is Thanksgiving in the United States, a holiday whose roots go back to the country's earliest days as a British colony. One way Americans celebrate the occasion is with parades. Anush Avetisyan takes us to one such event on the day before Thanksgiving near Washington, where a community's diversity is on display. Joy Wagner narrates
Video

Video Aung San Suu Kyi: Myanmar Opposition to Keep Pushing for Constitutional Change

Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi says she and her supporters will continue pushing to amend a constitutional clause that bars her from running for president next year. VOA's Than Lwin Htun reports from the capital Naypyitaw in this report narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video Mali Attempts to Shut Down Ebola Transmission Chain

Senegal and Nigeria were able to stop small Ebola outbreaks by closely monitoring those who had contact with the sick person and quickly isolating anyone with symptoms. Mali is now scrambling to do the same. VOA’s Anne Look reports from Mali on what the country is doing to shut down the chain of transmission.
Video

Video Ukraine Marks Anniversary of Deadly 1930s Famine

During a commemoration for millions who died of starvation in Ukraine in the early 1930s, President Petro Poroshenko lashed out at Soviet-era totalitarianism for causing the deaths and accused today’s Russian-backed rebels in the east of using similar tactics. VOA’s Daniel Shearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video Hong Kong Protests at a Crossroads

New public opinion polls in Hong Kong indicate declining support for pro-democracy demonstrations after weeks of street protests. VOA’s Bill Ide in Guangzhou and Pros Laput in Hong Kong spoke with protesters and observers about whether demonstrators have been too aggressive in pushing for change.
Video

Video US Immigration Relief Imminent for Mixed-Status Families

Tens of thousands of undocumented immigrants in the Washington, D.C., area may benefit from a controversial presidential order announced this week. It's not a path to citizenship, as some activists hoped. But it will allow more immigrants who arrived as children or who have citizen children, to avoid deportation and work legally. VOA's Victoria Macchi talks with one young man who benefited from an earlier presidential order, and whose parents may now benefit after years of living in fear.
Video

Video New Skateboard Defies Gravity

A futuristic dream only a couple of decades ago, the hoverboard – a skateboard that floats above the ground - has finally been made possible. While still not ready for mass production, it promises to become a cool mode of transport... at least over some surfaces. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Impact US Oil Extraction

With the price of oil now less than $80 a barrel, motorists throughout the United States are benefiting from gas prices below $3 a gallon. But as VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the decreasing price of petroleum has a downside for the hydraulic fracturing industry in the United States.

All About America

AppleAndroid