New fallacies about HIV-AIDS in Zimbabwe

by Kenneth Nyamayaro Mufuka and Thelma Tauya | African Educational Research Journal

Since 1990, the Zimbabwe government has struggled with the devastating effects of HIV-Aids pandemic. By cooperating with the US government and world non-governmental organizations (NGOs), such as the United States AID (USAID), United Nations Aids Fund (UNAIDS), United Nations Children’s Fund (Unicef), Families with Aids Care Trust (Fact) and faith based organizations, such as the Salvation Army, the prevalence rate has declined from 32% in 1990 to 15.3% in 2010. Based on this obvious success, and the fear that foreign NGOs interfere in the internal politics of the country, the Zimbabwe government has asked these organizations to close and hand over their operations and resources to the government controlled National Aids Council. The paper argues that when NGOs are forced to close operations, they do not hand over their resources to a foreign government. They dismiss workers and migrate to a neighboring country. Secondly, the new prevalence figure of 15.3% is the fifth highest in the world. When taking into account high HIV-AIDS related deaths between 2004 and 2010, and the huge migration from Zimbabwe of 3.5 million people during that same period, the lower HIV-AIDS prevalence is due to these factors rather than an improvement in prevention. Consolidating NGOs work under the government umbrella actually dissipates resources rather than consolidates them. Resources falling under government control are subject to looting and political mismanagement. An additional fallacy is a government program that gives the impression that circumcision is a cure.

Keywords: HIV-AIDS, fallacies, non-governmental organizations, Zimbabwe, government, prevalence, National Aids Council.

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