US Ambassador tests for HIV

US Ambassador to Botswana Earl Miller taking an HIV/ AIDs test yesterday. PIC MORERI SEJAKGOMO
US Ambassador to Botswana Earl Miller taking an HIV/ AIDs test yesterday. PIC MORERI SEJAKGOMO

The new US ambassador Earl Miller took his first public HIV/ AIDS test as an official ambassador of his country yesterday at Tebelopele Voluntary Counselling and Testing Center (VCT) in Gaborone.

Addressing the media, Miller said he took the test in order to encourage the public to test for HIV/AIDS and to lead by example as it takes more than financial and technical  support. He also said his decision to test for HIV/AIDS was to help change the course of the HIV/AIDS epidemic.

Furthermore, he added that he wanted to show the people of Botswana and of the United States that health is one of his top priorities. Through the President Emergency Plan For Africa Relief (PEPFA) initiative, the United States of America has over the years  provided Botswana with approximately Six billion pula to support and help control the epidemic. 

“To get there we are re-focusing our efforts on a data driven approach that strategically targets geographic areas and populations where HIV/AIDS is most prevalent,” said Miller.


Moreover, the US ambassador said they would invest in evidence-based and high impact interventions, such as the Option B+ programme, which provides life long treatment to HIV positive  pregnant women regardless of their CD4 count.

He also  said they will continue to advocate for effective health policies, including breastfeeding  and changes to the national treatment guidelines so more people living with HIV can access anti – retroviral treatment sooner. He said this life long treatment helps to prevent infant infections, saves mother’s lives and  reduces the number of orphans as it is cost effective. Miller concluded by urging the public to talk to each other about HIV so as to find out how they can reach an HIV free generation together.

Speaking at the same event Game Bantsi, otherwise known as ‘Zeus ‘urged the youth especially young men, to take charge of their lives and test for HIV.  He also said he was spending time with the young men through his ‘I AM’ programme which helps to address issues concerning social change with young Batswana men. The hip-hop artist also applauded the United States embassy for helping not only him but also the country to fight the virus. Tebelopele Voluntary Counselling and Testing Center in association with Zeus will host campaigns around the country at various Tebelopele centers where couples will test for HIV/ AIDS during Valentines Day.

Editor's Comment
What about employees in private sector?

How can this be achieved when there already is little care about the working conditions of those within the private sector employ?For a long time, private sector employees have been neglected by their employers, not because they cannot do better to care for them, but because they take advantage of government's laxity when it comes to protecting and advocating for public sector employees, giving the cue to employers within the private sector...

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