Sport In Action (SIA) on December 1, 2021 joined the rest of the world in commemorating World AIDS Day as the organization continues to show solidarity with people living with HIV in Zambia and beyond.
In commemoration of this important day, SIA highlighted the impact of HIV to individuals, communities, the nation and the world at large, especially since SIA has been hugely affected by the impact of Covid-19 to our community projects across the country. This year’s World AIDS Day theme was End Inequalities. End AIDS. End Pandemics, and SIA is aware that effectively addressing HIV requires that we acknowledge and address the inequalities that drive this epidemic, as well as the other public-health emergencies that we face, including the Covid-19 pandemic and the overdose crisis.
We know that the impact of Covid-19 has reduced funding to the HIV sector and the attention to the HIV activities. However, we need the nation to be alive to the fact that during the Covid-19, we have seen a rise in the number of HIV infection among young people, according to national data we have.
This is a call to action, and we hope and trust that as we commemorate this important day in our levels, we need to further strengthen the mitigating strategies on Covid-19 so that we are more effective in spreading the messages of HIV.
SIA is happy that it has supplemented government efforts through various activities that it has been implementing with number of partners such as the Zambia Commentary HIV Prevention Project which was in partnership with PACT-Zambia with funding from USAID.
And this calls for key stakeholders and government to relook at the various strategies that we can come up with amidst covid-19 for us to be more effective in mitigating the dangers of HIV, especially among the abolements and young people.
Even in the times of the coronavirus pandemic, SIA has led the way and shown that in 2021 alone, the organization has managed to supplement government’s effort amidst the dangers of Covid-19 by reaching to over 21,000 young people and adults with key information on HIV prevention.
We are happy to also inform the nation that amongst the over 21,000 that we have reached, over 12,000 adolescent young girls were under this project, and we are glad that through this project, we were able to capacity build the adolescents on various key messages on how to prevent themselves from teen pregnancy and how they can access health services from nearest health services.
Through the same project, SIA was able to sensitise the communities on the dangers of GBV, alcohol and drug abuse which has a direct effect to HIV prevention.
As part of continued commemorations of the day, SIA has scheduled planned sports activities where 700 young people both girls and boys will be engaged as part of the commemoration.
It was through this particular project that we were able to mitigate the spread of HIV by the distribution of over 250,000 male and female condoms and we are happy that we have been receiving very good feedback from the targeted communities on how these commodities have been useful amongst the adult population.
In conclusion, we urge key stakeholders and private companies to come on board and help supplement SIA and government’s efforts in order to achieve the sustainable development goals by 2030 on healthy individuals living a positive life.