Why is the ZATA Project needed?
Human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV) infection and the acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) disproportionately affect those in resource-limited settings, such as Zimbabwe. Although effective treatments for HIV infection (antiretrovirals or AIDS drugs cocktails) are available in the United States, the use of these medicines in Zimbabwe and the rest of Africa has been limited. In Zimbabwe, new HIV infections have fallen dramatically in the last decade, but much work remains to be done. In 2016, it is estimated that 1.3 million Zimbabweans (13.5% ) are infected with HIV, and there were between 25,000 and 35,000 deaths as a result of the virus.
To help address the AIDS problem in Zimbabwe, since 2002, the faculty of the Division of Infectious Diseases at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus and the University of California-San Francisco have been collaborating with their counterparts at the University of Zimbabwe Medical School to conduct AIDS clinical trials research in Zimbabwe. The purpose of this research has been to develop better approaches to treatment of HIV-1 infection in Zimbabwe, and to develop the capacity and expertise needed to improve the treatment of people with HIV infection in Zimbabwe. To facilitate AIDS research in Zimbabwe, the faculty of the University of Zimbabwe Medical School has operated an AIDS Research Centre for almost 20 years.The ZATA Project partners with the Division of Infectious Diseases faculty to support needed expenses related to the fight against AIDS in Zimbabwe.
A Major Objective of the ZATA) Project
The ZATA Project has focused the major part of their fundraising since 2004 to pay for medications, staff, equipment, research grants and other expenses related to assisting the University of Zimbabwe faculty in their fight against the AIDS virus. The University clinics that serve HIV/AIDS patients are often short of funds to pay for a variety of needs and the ZATA Project has collaborated to provide support when a need is identified by the faculty. ZATA has even paid for a clean water well to be dug at the clinic so that a cholera epidemic in 2009 could be contained.
The mission of the ZATA project is to raise funds to support medical care, research, and other financial needs of Zimbabweans with HIV/AIDS, through donations and the sale of original Zimbabwe art and sculpture. All net proceeds from such art sales and from monetary donations will be spent for these purposes. Our fundraising costs are very low because of our all-volunteer board, and the wonderful volunteers that help us raise funds at art auctions. We have also been fortunate to receive thousands of dollars worth of in-kind or low-cost services from our generous Advisory Board members and Denver businesses.