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More effort required to fight HIV/AIDS

GOITSEMODIMO KAELO
Baum
While Botswana has made impressive strides in fighting HIV/AIDS, more effort is still needed to win the fight against the scourge, European Union Delegation Ambassador Alexander Baum has said.

In an interview with Mmegi following EU’s participation in the march to commemorate World AIDS Day organised by the District Multi Sectoral AIDS Committee (DMSAC) last Friday, Baum said free provision of ARV might not be an ever-lasting solution for the country. He said emphasis should be on behaviour change to get the situation under control.

“Botswana has made fantastic strides, but the free provision may not be a long term solution. Emphasis should be on prevention rather than treatment if we are targeting zero new infections,” he said.

“In Europe we have got the situation under control faster than here because of the behaviour change. People have developed a sense of responsibility. In Botswana people treat it as if it’s over”

However, he said the country has to be

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commended for being able to provide free ARVs for its people, something he said has been a problem for many countries.

Baum said whilst it is important to know your status, it is equally important to adapt how you live when you are positive. He said EU is committed to spreading the message and helping Botswana in the fight against the disease. He also said that funding fatigue for Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) has had a negative impact on the fight against AIDS.

He said that while funding for HIV/AIDS related programmes is still visible, there is a gap that can be closed by NGOs as they work closely with the communities. He said the EU indirectly funds activities geared towards fighting HIV/AIDS through the Global Fund.



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