UN Staff Commemorates World AIDS Day
On 4 December 2013 UN agencies in Tanzania commemorated World AIDS Day at Karimjee Hall in Dar es Salaam. This followed sound participation at the national commemoration on 1 December 2013 at Mnazi Mmoja grounds in Dar es Salaam and officiated by H.E the Vice President, Dr. Mohamed Gharib Bilal. The theme of 2013 AIDS World AIDS Day was “Getting to 3 Zeros; Zero new HIV infections, Zero AIDS related deaths and Zero stigma and discrimination”. The UN agencies focused on a very open dialogue to address the issue of “zero stigma and discrimination” in the workplace, in communities and within the family. The Day was commemorated with speeches, presentations, lessons learned and experiences of living positively with HIV and AIDS as we are all affected by the pandemic. Famous local artists composed and entertained the UN staff while Voluntary Counselling and Testing (VCT) services were offered as part of the afternoons proceedings.
The event began with remarks from the Acting Resident Coordinator and UNICEF Representative, Jama Gulaid, who conveyed and reflected on the 2013 World AIDS Day message from the UN Secretary General, H.E. Ban Ki Moon. He also provided information on the current status of HIV in Tanzania and encouraged UN personnel to make use of HIV services and treatment that are provided in the country. The open session included personal and fascinating accounts on how staff are dealing and living with HIV in their communities and with family.
After 30 years since the first HIV case was reported in Tanzania in 1983, the UN staff noted that it is time for every one of us to discourage negative perceptions towards people living with and affected by HIV and AIDS, as this impacts on all of us.
The shared experiences of living with HIV was an important lesson to UN staff members to once again reflect upon the consequences of HIV related stigma and discrimination and the challenge of getting to zero. Staff members committed to lead by example by fostering and creating an enabling environment towards getting to the 3 Zeros.
The artists also played their role in conveying messages related to the World AIDS Day and getting to 3 Zeros in through song, dance and plays.
UN commemorates World AIDS day every year as part of work place programme that is coordinated by UN Cares.