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World HIV/AIDS day

The Steve Tshwete Local Municipality hosted its annual World AIDS day at the Adelaide Tambo Hall in Extension 7, Mhluzi.

The ceremony was to commemorate all living with the pandemic globally and in the region. The municipality wants to create awareness and provide assistance to victims and others. The Steve Tshwete region has the highest infection rate in the whole of the Mpumalanga province at 52%.

Candles where lit at the event, all with a meaning: The Executive Mayor, Cllr Mike Masina, lit the white candle which means the municipality has hope to one day have a cure to the virus and that politicians are also working hard to alleviate the pandemic.

Sister Poppy Mahlangu (Primary Health Care Supervisor for STLM clinics), lit the yellow candle which is to acknowledge that “we all have families and friends living with the virus and will continue to provide support.”

HIV/AIDS Activist Sbongile Nyambi, who is living with the virus, lit the red candle in memory of all those who lost their lives due to the pandemic.

During the ceremony information leaflets where handed out to the public and condoms where also distributed.

Forms of contraceptives were also discussed, including the new implant method.

The contraceptive implant is part of the national health guidelines aimed at expanding women birth control choices. It’s also aimed at decreasing pregnancy in teenage girls and young women.

The implant is a size of a match stick and it is implanted under the skin of the upper arm. The contraceptive is valid for three years and can be implanted at any clinic, free of charge and no appointment needed.

“The contraceptive is very effective and irreversible, after removal the woman can fall pregnant within two weeks,” said Mrs Ansa Viljoen (from the Department of Health).

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