Solenn Honorine/MSF
Varaidzo Chipunza and her husband Antony Chivanga have been living with HIV for three years. But since MSF introduced the Community ART Group (CAG) in their village of Lowlands, in the Gutu district of Zimbabwe, they say that it has become far easier to live with the virus. In a CAG, members pool their resources to access drugs so that only one member of the group needs to make the three hours hike to the nearest clinic. Therefore, they don’t have to waste a day of work tilling their field and, just as importantly, being part of a group gives them precious support. “Before there was no one to talk about the tablets, the side effects that might come, to give us strength to continue with the treatment”, says Antony. Now they have decided to speak out to the other members of their village about the necessity to get tested and get on treatment. When ARV treatment work, the risk of transmission is reduced dramatically, and therefore universal treatment is a key to stop the spread against HIV.