“AIDS – ACTION INVOLVES DOING SOMETHING”
By: Tony Manyangadze
It’s that time of the year when the world pauses for a moment to put heads together to discuss new ideas on how to curb HIV and AIDS.
The Durban University of Technology (DUT) today cracked the nut first by hosting a World AIDS Day seminar at one of its campuses. This discussion was attended by students and staff who were in return, furnished with new information on new researches and developments that have so far been made globally.
One of the speakers for the gathering was Dr Sandy Pillay from the Enhancing Care Foundation who urged South Africans not to get weary of fighting HIV and AIDS especially after considering that the country has one of the world’s highest prevalence rate of 17.3 percent and an estimated 1000 infections daily.
Dr Pillay’s concern also stems from the fact that KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) is the leading province when it comes to the number of people contracting and living with the disease. He went on to say that research has shown that 1 in 3 people living in KZN is HIV positive.
Despite these scary statistics, Dr Pillay noted that the speech that was given in 2009 by President Jacob Zuma and the commitment that followed, has played a significance role in the de-stigmatisation of people living with the pandemic and also the promotion of universal access of Antiretroviral drugs.
“South Africa has the largest ARV programme in the world. 20% of the world’s ARV’s are consumed here in South Africa,” said Dr Pillay.
Cindy Pavacic, an author, a motivational speaker and an IEC facilitator was also the other guest speaker. Full of enthusiasm and zest she shared her experiences and what she has been doing around the country to educate and motivate people.
Pavacic told the audience that she came up with a new meaning of the word AIDS- Action Involves Doing Something. She noted that people must not be ignorant but rather they should equip themselves with ‘survival skills’ because at the rate that HIV and AIDS is spreading and evolving you either, “Adapt or die”.
“If you don’t know anything ask, if you are shy then google it,” she said.
Pavacic also pin pointed that the media has almost stopped doing much in as far as giving people a true reflection of what is on the ground as far as HIV and AIDS is concerned.
“Adverts shown in the media are perpetrating that HIV/AIDS is a black and gay disease while in actual fact AIDS shows no partiality. It knows no race it can affect anyone irrespective of race,” said Pavacic.