Sector assists those with HIV and TB

2016-05-25 06:00
 MEMBERS of the civil society are from the left, front: Deon Diteho (district chairman, civil society), Nompumelelo Sipopa (PLHIV), Maria Daniels (children’s sector), Godfrey Springbok (sector for people with disabilities), Cathrine Liks (women’s sector), Vivian Basson (chairperson, youth) and Honest Mathe (secretary, sports); back: Steve Vass (sex workers’ sector), Riaan Bosman (men’s sector) and Lionel Mbatha (sector for lesbians and gays). Photo: Supplied

MEMBERS of the civil society are from the left, front: Deon Diteho (district chairman, civil society), Nompumelelo Sipopa (PLHIV), Maria Daniels (children’s sector), Godfrey Springbok (sector for people with disabilities), Cathrine Liks (women’s sector), Vivian Basson (chairperson, youth) and Honest Mathe (secretary, sports); back: Steve Vass (sex workers’ sector), Riaan Bosman (men’s sector) and Lionel Mbatha (sector for lesbians and gays). Photo: Supplied

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SIX committee members were elected to represent the Tsantsabane municipal areas during the launch of the regional arm of the People Living with HIV (PLHIV) movement in the Northern on Tuesday, 26 April.

The launch was held at the Postmasburg Town Hall and was for the ZF Mgcawu region as a whole.

PLHIV is a branch of the civil society movement of people living with HIV in the Northern Cape.

Its purpose is to strengthen civil society’s response and contribution to fight against HIV and tuberculosis (TB), to advise the South African National Aids Council (Sanac) on HIV and Aids, sexually-transmitted infections (STI), and TB policies and strategies and related matters.

It further serves to strengthen partnerships within government, civil society organisations and the private sector for an integrated and expanded national response in an effort to ensure that the needs of those affected are addressed.

During the lighting of the three candles by newly-elected regional co-ordinator, Nompumelelo Sipopa, she informed the community that the yellow candle was lit in memory of those who had died because of the virus.

“The red represents those who are infected and affected by this virus, and the white candle is a symbol of hope to those infected, so that one day they will say we used to have HIV, and we will live in an HIV-free society,” Sipopa said.

During his keynote address, Beau Nkaelang, the provincial chairperson of the civil society sector, gave the background to the incidence of HIV in the world.

He said 36 years since the discovery of HIV, there was still no cure.

“But there are a lot of preventative measures we can use as a society,” he said.

“The biggest challenge we face is stigmatisation and discrimination in our society. A lot of people die because of discrimination. Our government has also managed to make sure that we work together with our traditional healers to fight this disease.

“We want 90% of our society to know their status and access medication. HIV positive people must belong to a support group for empowerment,” indicated Nkae-lang.

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