– by Nkosingiphile Ntshangase
In recognition of World AIDS Day, which takes place on the 1st of December, we reflect yearly on the progression of the HIV response, especially during a pandemic. Globally, there have been significant advancements in the prevention and treatment of HIV. HIV research produced help and ensures individuals with HIV can live long and healthy lives. However, the pandemic has likely set back government and private sector research institutions on their journey to reducing the transmission rate and further educating the public on HIV/AIDS and sexual health awareness.
In the communities and health care systems, necessary steps have been taken to address HIV stigma. UKZN Extended Learning supports organisations such as the Global Shapers Community (Durban Hub) and their campaign to spread health awareness in light of World Aids Day this year. On the 4th of December, they will be facilitating a programme that aims to address health issues that affect the community, especially the youth. Global Shapers Community will raise discussions around cancer, HIV/AIDS, sexual health awareness, and other engaging activities at this event. This event promotes young people being in control of their health, which is particularly important for their future and allows for informed decisions on issues on one’s body to be a priority. By listening to the voices of those most affected, UKZN Extended Learning is committed to partnering on programmes and initiatives to contribute and serve those in their community that are most in need.
Through our partnership with community-based organisations and government institutions, we aim to contribute to developing innovations that address individual, community, and structural factors and inequalities that drive the HIV epidemic. The purpose behind driving awareness is to remember those who have lost their lives to AIDS and honour those living with HIV while working towards an HIV-free generation across South Africa.
To find out more information about the Global Shapers World Aids Day event, please click here.