MPs form anti-AIDS advocacy group

Some 80 members of the Tanzanian parliament have formed a movement aiming to raise awareness of HIV/AIDS issues in parliament, the ‘Guardian’ newspaper reported on Wednesday. It quoted Tanzania Parliamentarians Aids Coalition (TAPAC) chairwoman, Lediana Mafuru, as saying that the group’s main objective would be to increase understanding of HIV/AIDS issues, including the effects of the spread of the disease on society, inside and outside parliament. Mafuru said the group would visit the country’s most affected areas and look for possible solutions to the HIV/AIDS crisis. “We want to eliminate the notion that MPs fear to speak about HIV/AIDS in their constituencies for the fear of losing votes,” she said. The joint UN Programme on HIV/AIDS, UNAIDS estimates that 8 percent of Tanzania’s teenagers and adults (15 to 49 years) are infected with HIV/AIDS.