deputy prime ministere thokozani khupe 04-10-10.jpgDeputy Prime Minister Thokozani Khupe has been appointed the United Nations AIDS Global Power Network President at the just-ended UNAIDS Global Women’s Conference held in the United States.


The conference, which drew participants from African countries saw Zimbabwe’s Deputy Prime Minister Thokozani Khupe becoming the first UNAIDS Global Power Network president.

Addressing a media conference in Harare, DPM Khupe said : “The main objectives of the conference was to map strategies that will help mitigate the issue of AIDS and protect women from being infected.”

She said young women who are between the ages of 15 and 24 are three times exposed to the deadly disease and more needs to be done to reduce new infections.

Said DPM Khupe: “Poverty is one of the factors the are contributing to more HIV infections and we also discovered that there are other factors like inheritance, lobola, stigma and discrimination.”

Ms Khupe said the United States government has pledged money which will assist developing countries in mitigating HIV.

“The US government has pledged US$48 million to mitigate HIV and as government, we want to concentrate on those who are already infected and ensure that there are no other infections,” she said.

Commenting on the issue of maternal mortality, Ms Khupe said a fundraising dinner is going to be held this week to raise money for user fees and gave assurance that the Minister of Finance will be approached to urge him to budget for maternity health.