World AIDS day 2015 commemorations held in Kuyga

DECEMBER 4, 2015

In commemoration of World AIDS Day, observed on 1 December annually, the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality partnered with the Eastern Cape Department of Health, Love Life and local NGO, Mfesane, in hosting a local AIDS day programme, held at the Kuyga Community Hall in Greenbushes on Wednesday.

The event, led by Cllr Joy Seale (MMC: NMBM Public Health), focused on creating awareness and educating the community of Kuyga about AIDS prevention and treatment. Community members and learners from the Kuyga Public Primary School filled the Kuyga Community Hall and listened to the talks given by Cllr Seale, the Department of Health and the Love Life Ground Breakers.

After explaining the purpose of the event to the community, Cllr Seale provided the residents with statistics on the devastating effect of AIDS on local communities, stating that HIV and AIDS were especially rife between the ages of 15 – 24 years, making it the second highest killer in this age group.

She added that, since 2004, when the roll-out of ARV treatment began, altogether 47 622 residents have been registered with the Department of Health for ARV treatment, while on average 11 000 residents annually register for TB treatment.

The other speakers emphasised the importance of prevention toward the community, touching on topics such as safe sex, and ARV and other treatment and support available to those who have been infected and affected by HIV and AIDS. Guests were also given the opportunity to do undergo free AIDS testing, TB screening, blood pressure tests and sugar diabetes tests on the day.

"Our guests that have been invited here today have been given some knowledge about HIV and TB. HIV and AIDS is something that can stand in front of anyone’s door. We must not stigmatise those that do have HIV and AIDS.

"When we engage in sexual activities, we need to use protection. Most importantly, we must not show discrimination towards those infected with the disease and should rather be supportive towards those persons,” said Cllr Seale.

Learners from the area also received pairs of shoes as preperation for the 2016 school year.