Thank You Boulder and the Dairy Center for the Arts!
The ZATA (Zimbabwe AIDS Treatment Assistance) Project held an art auction at the Dairy Center in Boulder on October 19, 2013, auctioning its lovely Zimbabwe paintings, sculptures and crafts to raise monies for the AIDS Research Center at the University of Zimbabwe, the partner site of the University of Colorado Denver. ZATA has raised over a quarter of a million dollars since ZATA’s inception in 2004 to fund HIV medications, clinic personnel, a clean water well and educational support for AIDS orphans in Harare, Zimbabwe. Over 900 HIV-infected patients have benefited greatly since 2004 from the generosity of ZATA donors and art buyers.
The Dairy Center Art and Sculture Auction was a very successful event and we would like to thank everyone who attended for their support and contributions. We would also like to thank Sally Hatcher for her work in putting together such a successful event, we could not have done it without her!
Fortunately, HIV prevalence has been declining in Zimbabwe: it was 27% in 1997, 24% in 2001, 18% in 2005, and 14% in 2009. Yet, fewer than half of Zimbabwean AIDS patients have access to the life-saving antiretroviral treatments for HIV/AIDS, and more than 10% of all such treatment that is provided in this country of about 12 million people is provided through the research programs at the University of Zimbabwe Medical School Clinical Research Centre. Because of its generous donors and art buyers since 2004, the ZATA Project is now serving over 900 HIV-infected patients at the University of Zimbabwe and helping them return to a productive live with their families.
Doctors from the University of Colorado Denver and the University of California at San Diego collaborate with investigators at the University of Zimbabwe in on-going research to improve the care and treatment of people with AIDS in Zimbabwe. Over the past several years, this collaboration has resulted in funding from a number of organizations, including the National Institutes of Health, and pharmaceutical companies, among others, to conduct research studies to find the most effective combination of antiretroviral drugs to treat Zimbabwean AIDS patients. However, once patients in the study complete their role, they must purchase the drugs on their own. Most cannot afford to purchase the drugs to continue treatment. While the U.S. President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) has recently provided significant support to Zimbabwe for HIV medications, many HIV-infected patients still do not have access to life-saving drugs. Further, because of the country’s economic issues, the health institutions are often woefully short of funds to pay for professional staff and supplies.
The ZATA (Zimbabwe AIDS Treatment Assistance) Project was founded as a 501(c)3 non-profit organization in 2004 in cooperation with University of Colorado Denver AIDS experts to raise funds through the sale and auction of Zimbabwean art and sculpture. The major propose of the ZATA Project is to provide antiretroviral drugs and medical care to HIV/AIDS-infected patients once they have completed their role in the medical research studies by closely working with the University of Zimbabwe medical faculty to purchase the most cost-effective therapies that will help the most people.