Inmates vow to fight HIV

2016-05-20 06:00
Photo: Siphelele Nketo Inmates sing at the commemoration.

Photo: Siphelele Nketo Inmates sing at the commemoration.

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INMATES promised to contribute in the fight against HIV during a candlelight commemoration day at Kokstad Medium Correctional Centre last Friday.

The day was organised by the Department of Correctional Services to remember inmates who have died due to HIV and to encourage inmates to fight the disease.

Ntombizodwa Sibutha, the co-ordinator of development and care in the Kokstad Management Area encouraged inmates to fight the disease.

“The Department of Correctional Services won’t relax while inmates are dying because of the disease. In 1983 people living with HIV met to give hope to each other. As a result the global network spread the message of fighting the disease to the world.”

Speakers encouraged inmates to get tested for the disease so they can get treatment. Inmates were also told to use a condom when having sex.

A female inmate, who identified herself as a motivational speaker, encouraged inmates to be the giants of God.

“I have tested positive for cancer. My life is in God’s hands. We [inmates] support the campaign of fighting the disease even when we get out here we are going to spread the message.”

The commemoration was attended by pastors, people living with HIV from the Department of Health, officials from the correctional department and inmates.

Department’s communication officer in Kokstad Management­ Area Bonginkosi Mbotshwa said the department has introduced a male circumcision, which has yielded good results.

“Between 2015 and 2016 we targeted only 202 inmates for circumcision, but the number has risen to 453. The department has its own doctors and nurses who are responsible for circumcision.”

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