More than 300 Tanzanian MPs are taking HIV tests in public today as they try to encourage more people to get tested.
The initiative comes at the start of a six-month campaign dubbed ‘test and treat’ that seeks to put people living with HIV on anti-retroviral drugs (ARVs).
Speaking during the launch of the campaign, Prime Minister Kassim Majaliwa directed local government leaders to encourage the public to take HIV tests so that those found with the virus can start medication immediately.
Oscar Rwegasira Mukasa, an MP and chairman of the HIV Parliamentary Committee, told the BBC that as much as the testing will be done openly, individual MPs will decide whether to make their results public.
According to statistics by the Tanzania Commission for Aids, Tanzania has an estimated 1.4 million people living with HIV, but only 52% of them are aware of their condition.
The disease has mostly affected the youth aged between 14 and 25, the commission says.