The Jesuit centre for theological reflection (JCTR) says a meaningful fight against HIV/AIDS cannot ignore the importance of household food security.
JCTR Manager of the Social Conditions Programme, Daniel Mutale says the prevailing situation of high food prices poses a threat to eradicating the effect of the pandemic and a source of concern.
Mr. mutale has pointed out that While several factors affect the spread of HIV/AIDS, access to food and adequate nutrition have a bearing on both the spread and progression of the pandemic.
And Mr. mutale says the cost of living for a family of five living in Lusaka as measured by the JCTR’s Basic Needs Basket for the month of November 2012 stood at 3, 475,720 kwacha which is an increase of 25, 660kwacha from 3, 450,060kwacha for October.
He says the total food items for November cost 850, 320kwacha compared to 821, 960kwacha in October 2012.
Mr mutale says the high cost of food items was due to observed price increases recorded in foods such as Mealie meal, Kapenta, tomatoes and beef Despite a minor reduction of 2, 080kwacha observed on the non-food items between October 2012 and November 2012, the nominal prices of non-food items are still high at 2, 625, 400kwacha.
He says it is cardinal to stress that there is a link between access to adequate and quality food and the response to the pandemic which may lead reduced HIV/AIDS transmission.
On the other hand, Mr. Mutale says a good nutrition is indispensible in managing the pandemic.
Through Mr Mutale JCTR has reiterated the importance of keeping the cost of food at affordable levels if the effect of the HIV/AIDS pandemic is to be fought meaningfully adding that Government should establish concrete strategies to reduce the cost of food.
Zambia joined the rest of the world in commemorating World AIDS day on 1st December, 2012 under the theme “Getting to Zero: Zero new HIV infections.Zero deaths from AIDS-related illness. Zero discrimination”. The local theme for Zambia was ‘‘I am a youth making a change for an HIV free Zambia