—-Katete District Commissioner Colonel Peter Kunda Kaisa says Traditional leaders have the capacity to maintain positive cultural values.
Colonel Kaisa said traditional leaders can help maintain positive values that support extended family and social security for children who might have lost their parents due to AIDS.
Col. Kaisa urged traditional leaders in the district to ban cultural practices such as sexual cleansing, widow inheritance, wife swapping and early marriages as they all increased the chances of HIV infection.
ZANIS reports that the District Commissioner said this today when he graced the District Commemorations of World AIDS Day at Kafumbwe primary school.
He said because of stigma many people still feel discouraged from knowing and disclosing their HIV status because of the shame that is attached to it.
The District Commissioner observed that HIV has many ways through which it can be contracted adding that sex way not the only way possible.
He said there is need for people to support one another and stop stigma and discrimination in order for them to become free to seek voluntary counselling and testing services which is the gate way to prevention, treatment, care and support.
He urged people that are sexually active to always use condoms as they were at a higher risk of contracting the disease.
He added that every Zambian should make a difference by contributing towards making Zambia free from all forms of stigma and an HIV/AIDS free nation.
Colonel Kaisa noted that government has led a way in making a change in the fight against HIV through increasing access points for HIV/AIDS treatment in the district.
Meanwhile giving testimony, Serina Phiri who has been on ARV treatment for over nine years urged people to take a bold step and know their status.
Ms. Phiri said knowing your status helps one maintain a positive life free from infections.
He urged people on HIV/AIDS treatment to adhere to treatment and follow health professionals’ advice.
In her testimony Ms. Phiri said she learnt about her HIV status in 2005 while she was pregnant.