Malawi Broadcasting Cooperation (MBC) has urged its employees to come out of their cocoon and tell their HIV status when they test positive to HIV, the virus that causes AIDS.
The call was made by MBC Acting Regional Manager for the north, Chimbizga Msimuko, at an HIV, Testing and Counseling (HTC) day held at Kaning’ina Studios in Mzuzu on Wednesday.
“Testing HIV positive doesn’t mean you have been slapped with a death sentence. HIV is not the end of the world. Rather, it’s just the beginning of another life, a life that enables you to plan well for your future.
“I therefore urge all of you to lift the lid on your HIV status so we can know how to help one another at the work place,” Msimuko said.
He further bemoaned the tendency by some employees who start discriminating others once they declare they are HIV positive.
In his speech, the Guest of Honour, District AIDS Coordinator (DAC) for Mzuzu City Harvey Limwado asked men who develop breasts as a result of taking the Anti-Retroviral Therapy (ART) to report the abnormality to hospital without delay.
“While it is true that the HIV drug is causing some abnormalities such as growth of breasts on men, it is not good to simply abandon it without going back to hospital to report,” Limwado said.
The DAC also registered his gratitude to the Joint Institutional Candlelight Memorial (JICAM), a grouping comprising Mzuzu SOS Children’s Village, Northern Region Water Board, Northern Region Police Headquarters, National Bank of Malawi, ESCOM, Mzuzu ADD, MACRO and Toyota Malawi for teaming up to fight HIV and AIDS in Mzuzu City.
Limwado further commended MBC management for prioritizing issues to do with HIV and AIDS. He therefore asked the other organizations within the city of Mzuzu to emulate the good example.
Preaching from 1 Corinthians 6:12-20, Pastor Mkamanga urged everyone to play the good steward of the body God them by among other things, desisting from immoral behaviors which can put them at greater risk of contracting HIV.
“God gave each one of us the body, soul and spirit. We therefore have a duty to look after these as He would want us to,” she said.
Mkamanga also dispelled the misconceptions some people spread that taking ARVs is a sin. She urged those who get healed of HIV through prayer to go for another testing for confirmation just as Jesus Christ was commanding the people He healed to go and show themselves to the priests.
A total of 29 people volunteered to test for HIV at the event which was spiced by songs and poems packed with HIV and AIDS messages, rib-cracking comedies by Mzuzu-based Extrovaganza Drama Group, inspiring testimonies by people living with HIV and Vimbuza performance by Kukaya Cultural Troupe, among other activities.