Tanzania: Tanzanian President Jakaya Kikwete Launches Angaza Zaidi HIV Counseling and Testing Program (May 2009)


In April, Tanzanian President Jakaya Kikwete launched Angaza Zaidi, a 5-year, $13.5 million HIV counseling and testing program. With support of the U.S. President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR,) the program will provide urban and rural communities in Tanzania with HIV counseling and testing services, post-test support groups, and referrals for HIV-positive individuals to care and treatment facilities.

Angaza Zaidi builds on lessons learned from the highly successful 7-year Angaza program, Tanzania's oldest and largest HIV counseling and testing initiative.

In conjunction with Angaza Zaidi, four Area Support Offices have been established to strengthen coordination between implementing partners and the Ministry of Health at the Regional and District levels and to build the capacity of community-based sub-partners.

At the launch of Angaza Zaidi, President Kikwete praised this new decentralized approach, as well as the mobile units that will bring quality services to remote and hard-to-reach areas.

"This is a commendable achievement in the fight against AIDS…Angaza Zaidi will have experts in the regions so that even people in the villages can easily reach them and benefit from their services," he said.

Forty-year old Deodatus Mtepa is one of the more than 2,000 people living with HIV/AIDS enrolled in Angaza Zaidi support associations.

After learning his HIV status in 1998, Mtepa says that he didn't know where to go.

"I had lost direction in my life. I thought I was likely to die soon, but when I found people with same health status like myself I felt happy to share life experiences with them," said Mtepa.

Mtepa joined a post-test club, started volunteering in his community, and later took courses to become a qualified counselor.

Today, he is an Angaza Zaidi counselor and is proactively involving other people living with HIV/AIDS in HIV prevention, treatment, and care.

"Finding employment was empowering for me. I began to share my experiences of positive living with other people who came for services. The work enabled me to earn a salary which helps me fulfill my dreams."

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