Do not become a HIV/AIDS statistic, warn experts

9 May 2019

HIV/AIDS affects many people in one way or another. Since there could be a family member or one of a students’ peers affected by the disease, the Directorate of Health and Wellness hosted an HIV and AIDS training session for all students on Sunday, 5 May 2019. The purpose of the training hosted in the Prestige Auditorium, Pretoria Campus, was to provide the much needed basic information on HIV/AIDS, to students, whether on or off campus, nationally and globally. The session also provided information on the prevention of HIV/AIDS infection.

Students listen attentively to the wisdom imparted during the HIV/AIDS training session.

On 29 May 2019, TUT, in partnership with the City of Tshwane, will also host Candle Light Memorial Day, to provide an opportunity to the broader community to attend a similar training and awareness session. “We plan to host the Candle Light Memorial Day, at the Theunis Bester Hall on 29 May. Because of our active community engagement, we look forward to a large number of members from the community to attend,” said Dr Albert Mbada of the Pretoria Campus Health and Wellness Unit and the HIV and Aids programme coordinator. 

High profile delegates and speakers at the 5 May training session included, the Deputy Secretary of the SRC, Gilbert Monnanyana, activists from the Treatment Action Campaign (TAC) and members of the Siyayinqoba Beat It campaign also joined the session.

Luthando Tyobeka from Siyayinqoba explained that gender based violence was one of the key contributors of HIV/AIDS infections. Although it affects both males and females, often the community only takes note of the plight of females, since men tend not to report their cases. 

“Many people living with HIV/AIDS have contracted the disease through rape or violence from their intimate partners or family.  Young people and students should be aware of the people they live with and be vigilant to recognise the signs and symptoms displayed by people affected by the phenomenon.”

Pule Goqo from the TAC warned young people not to become part of the statistics and spoke at length about the different ways of contracting the disease and prevention methods. 

“Living in the kind of society that we are in, young people should be cautious in everything they do. Importantly, they should learn to abstain, be faithful, condomise and familiarise themselves with Pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) and medical circumcision,” concluded Goqo.

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