Aids: Aluta Continua

2015-12-03 06:00
 Members of Langa Community Aids Programme, Sonke Gender Justice, Phaphamani Sizwe Projects, Langa clinic and Vanguard clinic commemorated the World Aids Day by testing residents for various illnesses, at the local taxi rank, on Tuesday. PHOTOs: Mbon

Members of Langa Community Aids Programme, Sonke Gender Justice, Phaphamani Sizwe Projects, Langa clinic and Vanguard clinic commemorated the World Aids Day by testing residents for various illnesses, at the local taxi rank, on Tuesday. PHOTOs: Mbon

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World Aids Day on Tuesday is a global phenomenon celebrated to create awareness about the ravages of the disease and to honour those whose lives were lost to the disease.

On Tuesday, the Langa taxi rank was a hive of activity as residents came out in droves and used the opportunity to either test, so they know their status, or commemorate the event.

Organised by the Langa Community Aids Programme, in partnership with Sonke Gender Justice, Phaphamani Sizwe Projects, Langa clinic and Vanguard clinic, the occasion saw hundreds of residents get tested for HIV/Aids, diabetes, cholesterol and other related chronic illnesses during the day.

Nolusapho Gabuza, coordinator, Langa Community Aids Programme, said they chose the taxi rank as it was convenient for most residents going to and from work.

“Most residents are wary of going to test at clinics, so we decided to come here because we know we will be able to inform as many people as possible going to and from work. The response was overwhelming,” Gabuza said.

Supporting the vulnerableThe organisation has its origins in 2002, at a time when the stigma attached to the disease was at its height, and denialism was rife.

It also offers different services in Langa; support groups, HIV/Aids awareness programmes, vegetable gardens, after school care programmes for learners and supports vulnerable children.

Thulani Velebayi, senior trainer at Sonke Gender Justice, said everyone should participate in the fight against HIV/Aids.

“Together we can cut it to zero infections. We need to work together. It is a good thing to go to people so they will have access to services. We also get an opportunity to engage with men when we go out on the streets,” Velebayi said. World AIDS Day is held on the 1st December each year and is an opportunity for people worldwide to unite in the fight against HIV.

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