Zimbabwe Lawmakers Undergo HIV Tests

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   (2012-06-22 00:00:00)

Dozens of lawmakers in Zimbabwe have undergone HIV tests at Parliament at a new anti-Aids campaign in Parliament. According to News 24, many lawmakers have even pledged to undergo circumcision.

At least 60 members of Parliament from the country's two main political parties took turns to receive counselling, before getting tested in a makeshift clinic set up inside the Parliament building.

"Tomorrow we will proceed with circumcision. So far about 60 MPs have been tested," Patience Dube, spokesperson for Population Services International, the organisation conducting the tests, said.

The response has been very overwhelming as the MPs came out in large numbers," said Dube.

More lawmakers were expected to undergo tests on Friday when they take the campaign to a public square in the capital. According to the United Nations, Zimbabwe has made drastic achievements in fighting HIV, with 14 percent of the population with Aids in 2009, down from 23 percent in 2003. Blessing Chebundo, a lawmaker from Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai's party, said taking part in the campaign was his way of leading from the front.

"By knowing my status, I am trying to fight discrimination. What we are doing here is unique," said Chebundo. In March, Mugabe told parliament that some of his political allies had died of Aids.