Fight against Aids brought humanity together - Ramaphosa

2015-12-01 16:53
Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa.

Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa.

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Durban – The fight against Aids has brought humanity together, Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa said on Tuesday at an event marking World Aids Day.

"It has done more to unite the world than to divide it. This devastating virus has reminded us of our common humanity and our common vulnerability. It is has also awakened us to our collective strength and shared future," Ramaphosa told the crowd in Port Shepstone on the KwaZulu-Natal South Coast.

The disease continued to thrive amid conditions of poverty, stigma and situations of unequal gender relations, he stressed.

"It also thrives on destructive behaviour, the abuse of alcohol and drugs, and unsafe sex. It is therefore up to all of us, collectively and as individuals, to take responsibility for our own health and that of others."

According to Ramaphosa, the number of new HIV infections was still extremely high, particularly among young women and girls.

"We are told that more than 2 300 girls and young women between the ages of 15 and 24 become infected with HIV each week. We, therefore, mount a highly visible national campaign to decrease new HIV infections in this group.

"While we have programmes to reduce new infections in this group, we need a highly-visible, nation-wide campaign to significantly reduce new infections in girls and young women."

Ramaphosa said intervention strategies required focus on a local level and the "everyday tasks of HIV prevention and treatment" should be everyone's concern.

Read more on:    cyril rama­phosa  |  durban  |  aids

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