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July 6, 2010

Maputo

By Cynara Vetch

Today’s  screening was in the capital Maputo and after making up 900 HIV information football bags till 1:00 in the morning, we set off early for a 12 hour drive. We arrived at the administration headquarters of Zimpeto,on the outskirts of the city and then for the first time in 27 days we had satellite problems. As the minutes sped by kick off time grew nearer and the team got more and more tense.

Luckily we were working with David Magaia from Nweti Trust who was calm, professional and unwaveringly optimistic. Whilst we had technical difficulties David ran a One Love video about Multiple Concurrent Partnerships (MCPs) and then led a discussion.  David believes that about 70% of people are in MCPs and  HIV prevalence in Maputo district is one of the highest in the country.

David told me “It’s about passion, I feel I have responsibility because when one has knowledge, he has to pass that knowledge to other people. I’m a reverend and I talk to my church a lot about HIV, I feel I have responsibility to my community to tell people, tell my friends that there is chance of having our community free of HIV”

David is very enthusisatic about the project, he told the camera crew “We can be doing our work but there a new things that come that motivate us more and I think that Africa Goal initiative is in 2010 is one of the best initiatives which is motivating people to understand that the effort to fight HIV is not just for one person but is for all of us.”

The young men and women were confident and enthusiastic about the discussions and keen to explain what their experiences. It was great to see sophisticated, confident young women talking about their lives and relationships. Too often at our screenings the women have been reticent and shy while their male counterparts have dominated the events. David drew them out getting them talk about what they looked for in partner and how they could protect themselves from HIV.

Finally the technical difficulties were sorted and we caught the last 15 minutes of the Netherlands/Uruguay game, which turned out to be to be pretty exciting with Uruguay scoring a second goal in the 89th minute of the game. They didn’t equalise though and the team packed down with a sigh of relief, the Ghana defeat at the hands of the Uruguayians was still branded into us and we weren’t interested in seeing them go any further.

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