Umgungundlovu District commemorates World Aids Day

2018-12-12 06:00

“ASIPHELELANGA kushod’uGugu (Dlamini), hhayi, hhayi asiphelelanga!”

Gugu Dlamini was killed in Durban more than a decade ago after declaring that she was HIV positive.

The swan song reverberated through the Hlelolusha Community Hall in Impendle Municipality’s Ward 4 when uMgungundlovu District commemorated World Aids Day on Saturday, under the theme #CheckImpilo.

The event was also used to launch the 16 Days of Activism For No Violence Against Women and Children in uMgungundlovu.

The district accounts for 42.2% of people living with HIV. The Department of Health in the province believes that some of the factors leading to the high statistics could be associated with violence directed against women.

uMgungundlovu District Mayor Thobekile Maphumulo called on men to play a leading role to talk about sex, HIV and Aids because this would go a long way to drive down the high HIV/Aids numbers. Mayor Maphumulo challenged the audience to raise their hands if they did not have family members, relatives, or neighbours who have HIV. None raised a hand.

“This is why we must take the fight against HIV and Aids seriously. The stigma is the first hurdle that we must defeat; we must talk about HIV and Aids openly, like Gugu Dlamini.

“Government has established facilities and structures to deal with the disease and its virus. Further there is a comprehensive anti-retroviral programme to fight HIV and Aids. It is, however, disappointing to know that we still have people who die because they do not take treatment on time. Others default on treatment and die.

“We are convinced that we can defeat this challenge. We must all test for HIV so that we can know our status,” concluded Mayor Maphumulo.

District Director of Health May Zuma-Mkhonza called on residents to be tested, circumcise, and abstain from sex. She revealed that Impendle Municipality has low HIV positive infections compared to other municipalities in uMgungundlovu. — Supplied.

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