Tanzania AIDS commission dismisses PLHAs’ threat

The Tanzanian Commissioner for AIDS (TACAIDS) has reacted angrily to a threat made over the weekend by some people living with HIV/AIDS in the city that they would resort to spreading the virus among the population as revenge.

The agitated People Living with HIV/AIDS claimed that the Commission, and other organisations assigned to provide care and support for the people affected by the virus, had actually sidelined the group, by diverting millions of donor funds to other projects instead.

Reacting to the allegations, Fatma Mwasa, the Director of Advocacy and Information in TACAIDS, said it was unfortunate, at a time when HIV/AIDS has been announced as a national disaster, to hear that there were some people who were thinking about spreading the disease intentionally.

’’It is beyond normal human reasoning. By the way, who is ready to take that risk,’’ she asked, adding that every Tanzanian knew that he or she should not trust anybody in terms of sexual relations.

She said most of the PLHAs in the country have distanced themselves from the group’s threats.

On the fund’s allocation, Mwasa said, TACAIDS had entrusted the Regional Facilitating Agency (RFA), which goes through every group’s proposal and activity plan before issuing funds.

Top of the PLHAs’ targets is the Commission, which they accused, of making no efforts to ensure that World Bank funds, meant for financing the country’s Multisectoral AIDS Project (TMAP) for the next five years since 2004, reach them.

The WB grant of 70bn/- was to finance the projects to be implemented under four components Community Aids Response Fund (CARF), Public Sector Fund (PSF), TACAIDS Institutional Support and Zanzibar HIV/AIDS Support.

They also attacked the RFA, a consortium made up of three organisations namely, COSHICA Women Group, Rao Hospital and Utegi Technical Enterprise for dilly-dallying in disbursing funds to the PLHAs in the city.

The funds totaling 1.2bn/- would among others help the targeted groups to implement their HIV/AIDS programmes involving care and support, prevention and treatment.

’’We can no longer tolerate to see that the money intended to lengthen our lives is being diverted.

To register our disapproval, we shall have no option but to go onto the streets and practice reckless sex the way we want,’’ Bakari Seif said.

Bakari made these serious threats in the company and support of over 30 PLHAs who had thronged the MAELEZO centre. He said they were extending their deadline up to December this year.

If no action had been taken, they would carry out their threat.

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