Help prevent HIV and hunger this Christmas

By agency reporter
December 11, 2009
Halima (courtesy Concern images)

Halima Salim lives in the Masasi district in Mtwara region, Tanzania. When diagnosed as being HIV positive, she was still mourning the death of her husband and her baby twins.

Thanks to the work of NGOs such as Concern, anti-retroviral (ARV) medication is available in Halima’s village and her health has improved because of them. Like so many others living with HIV, however, Halima is also suffering because of food shortages.

As Halima explains: "After taking these medicines, you need to eat a lot, and I don’t have money to buy food. Today, I worked at the mashamba [farm] for the whole day without eating anything. My children are suffering a lot".

Sadly there is nothing extraordinary about Halima’s situation. Many people living with HIV just don’t have enough to eat. And in many countries, the poorest families are being forced to choose between food for the household and ARVs for loved ones.

Every day over 5,700 people die from AIDS-related illnesses and daily there are 25,000 deaths from hunger-related causes. The tragedy of this is that, with effective interventions, both hunger and HIV are very preventable.

Concern has over 20 years of experience in combating HIV and AIDS and today. It runs 24 HIV and AIDS programmes in 15 countries.

If you are looking for a meaningful gift this Christmas, you can help us Concern continue this work and o be there for people like Halima by buying a loved one a little something from Concern’s Gifts range.

• £11 could buy six hens, each laying up to 200 eggs a year supplying a hungry family with a reliable source of protein

• £28 could buy a vegetable pack, providing seeds and tools to a HIV sufferer to grow their own source of nutritious vegetables

• £35 could provide HIV testing/counselling to those affected by the disease

Find out more from the Concern website here

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