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BBC -The president and opposition leaders in Tanzania have launched a national campaign for voluntary HIV/Aids testing

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  • Leonard Boniface
    Tanzanian leader takes Aids test President Kikwete and his wife were first to be tested at the launch The president and opposition leaders in Tanzania have
    Message 1 of 1 , Jul 16, 2007
      Tanzanian leader takes Aids test
       
      President Kikwete and his wife were first to be tested at the launch
      The president and opposition leaders in Tanzania have launched a national campaign for voluntary HIV/Aids testing by being tested in public.
      It is one of the most high-profile campaigns by African leaders to fight the disease.
      The UN estimates that nearly 1.5 million Tanzanians live with Aids but President Kikwete said only 15% of the population had been tested.
      The politicians are hoping the public will follow their lead.
      The launch, in Tanzania's commercial capital, Dar es Salaam, was witnessed by thousands of residents as well as foreign diplomats and development partners.
      Fighting stigma
      The president and first lady were the first to be tested, in one of a number of tents erected especially for the purpose.
      Mr Kikwete said nobody with HIV/Aids should feel victimised, and urged Tanzanians to respect and care for those living with the virus.
      The campaign was "to raise awareness among the public and to assure those already affected that we will support them and protect them from abuses", he said.
      "The government will also try to ensure that those affected get the appropriate treatment to enable them to live longer."
      Mr Kikwete said the government's initial target was to have tested four million people country-wide by December.
      Tanzania's Health Minister, David Mwakyusa, said testing would be confidential and that all those who tested positive would receive care and free anti-retroviral drugs.
      http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/africa/6899134.stm
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