Breaking the silence in Mozambique
14 June 2007
In 2005 a four-year Joint UN Gender programme was established in Mozambique to support the growing number of women affected by the AIDS epidemic in the country. The Joint Programme is funded by the Flanders Government, coordinated by UNAIDS and is being implemented by the United Nations Population Fund in partnership with the World Health Organization, the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations, the National Aids Council, the Ministry of Women and Social Action and networks of civil society organizations.
The programme is strengthening and supporting a multisectoral response to the AIDS epidemic by focusing on partnerships, together with the empowerment of women’s organizations and associations of people living with HIV. A national advocacy campaign on women and girls is being developed and best practices are being identified that can be replicated in the national AIDS response.
One national non-governmental organisation being supported through the Joint Programme is Ahitipaluxene, meaning “let’s break the silence”, which is an association of women living with HIV. Ahitipaluxene is an affiliate of Kuyakana a national network of women living with HIV and one of the networks involved in the four-year Joint UN Gender programme.
Ahitipaluxene’s core activity is the provision of food rations and home based care to people living with HIV. In addition the association carries out advocacy on human rights on AIDS related issues. Furthermore, members undertake fundraising activities such as knitting red ribbons as well as designing and making clothes.
UNAIDS and partners are supporting Ahitipaluxene to strengthen their institutional capacity in strategic planning, proposal development, and communication. Established in 2004 and registered in 2006, Ahitipaluxene has 23 full-time members and supports more than 125 people receiving antiretroviral treatment. During 2007, it expects to support an additional 110 people who have not yet started treatment.
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