Local news

Empower yourself this World AIDS Day

Part of South Africa‘s National Strategic Plan is to reach all key and vulnerable populations with customised and targeted interventions to prevent and combat Aids/HIV.

DECEMBER 1 was assigned World AIDS Day by the World Health Organisation (WHO) in 1988 to raise awareness about HIV/Aids and break the stigma attached to the disease.

This year’s theme is ‘Let Communities Lead’.

Also read: North Durban hospital changes lives through life-saving surgeries

Jan Thathiah, programme manager for HIV and TB Key Population at Lifeline Durban, said although the virus has been around for decades, people still have a negative attitude and beliefs towards those living with HIV.

“Without even knowing how someone has contracted HIV, it is just assumed that the person leads a promiscuous lifestyle. That person could have been raped or infected by a partner. Part of the programme that I manage aims to break these stigmas and educate people more about the virus,” said Thathiah.

The programme is part of the National Strategic Plan, implemented by the South African National Aids Council, and has eight goals.

Thathiah elaborated further on goal three which is to reach all key and vulnerable populations with customised and targeted interventions.

Also read: Festive fair in Durban North puts abilities in the spotlight

“We are focused on the 95/95/95 target which means that by 2030, at least 95% of the population must be tested, 95% of those who test positive must be on treatment and 95% of those who tested positive must be virally suppressed,” she said.

Her advice this World AIDS Day is to know your status and to always carry a condom with you.

“Get tested, know your status, and if you are positive, seek treatment. Always have a condom on hand. Empower yourself and take care of your body. I encourage females to put a female condom on before they go out with someone so if he doesn’t have one, they are prepared,” she said.

Medication to treat and possibly avoid contracting the virus:

PrEP: Pre-exposure prophylaxis reduces your chances of getting HIV from sex or injection drug use. When taken as prescribed, PrEP is highly effective for preventing HIV.

PEP: Post-exposure prophylaxis means taking medicine to prevent HIV after a possible exposure. It must be taken within 72 hours of possible exposure

ARVs (Antiretroviral): This reduces the viral load in the body after testing positive and stops the virus from replicating.

All local clinics provide free testing, counselling and treatment.

For more from Northglen News, follow us on Facebook, X or Instagram. You can also check out our videos on our YouTube channel 

Related Articles

Back to top button