01 December 2020
JOHANNESBURG – As the world commemorates World AIDS Day, the African National Congress (ANC) on Tuesday urged South Africans to take responsibility for their health, and to ensure they know their health status.
“Knowing your HIV status helps in making informed decisions on preventative measures. This year’s World Aids Day is commemorated under the theme “We’re in this together – Cheka Impilo.” The theme seeks to remind South Africans that the fight against HIV and AIDS is a shared responsibility,” said ANC national spokesperson Pule Mabe.
“Today, we must reaffirm our understanding that HIV and AIDS is a challenge for all of humanity that requires a collective, sustained and comprehensive response from all of us.”
He noted that World AIDS Day this year was being commemorated in the context of the second wave of Covid-19.
“We remain painfully aware that coronavirus can be more devastating to people living with HIV and AIDS. We continue to urge all South Africans to observe all measures that are intended to curb the spread of both HIV and coronavirus. We must continue to wear our masks, observe hand hygiene and avoid crowded places. For HIV prevention, the message remains – abstain, condomise and be faithful to your partner,” said Mabe.
“We are encouraged by the strides we have made as a country in the fight against HIV and Aids. South Africa has one of the biggest HIV treatment programmes in the world, with millions of people on life-saving antiretrovirals. This intervention has led to a significant decline in HIV/AIDS related deaths and increase in life expectancy and low levels of mother-to-child HIV transmission rates.”
The ANC said South Africa must use its strong foundation to accelerate its offensive against the pandemic.
“While visionary steps by the ANC government has turned the tide against HIV and AIDS, we must acknowledge that the success of government programmes will require a concerted effort from all of us,” said Mabe.
“On World AIDS Day, let us all make a solemn commitment that, as humanity, we will not tire until the battle against HIV and AIDS is won.”