World AIDS Day is commemorated each year on the 1st of December and is an opportunity for every community to unite in the fight against HIV, show support for people living with HIV and remember those who have passed away.
This year’s World AIDS Day in South Africa will be a chance to reflect on what we have achieved with the National Strategic Plan (NSP) on HIV, STIs and TB, 2012–2016, which is coming to an end. World AIDS Day will also look ahead to the new NSP covering the period 1 April 2017 to 31 March 2022.
Under the theme “It Is in Our Hands to End HIV and TB”, communities are encouraged to care for their health by getting tested, practicing safe sex and taking treatment.
As a build-up to the event, SANAC has been running a 10-day countdown social media campaign to help breathe new life into HIV awareness efforts and inspire people to consider how they can play a part for the next generation.
In the lead-up to World AIDS Day on 1 December, the collaborative #HIVprevention campaign has been exploring various aspects of HIV prevention and how they relate to specific groups of people affected by HIV, such as; adolescent girls and young women, key populations, and people living with HIV. The campaign also endeavoured to source public opinion and encouraged people to air their views on what could be done to achieve an AIDS-free generation by 2030.
The campaign was received with much enthusiasm by the members of the SANAC Board of Trustees who all wrote messages on their hands to communicate special issues they’re passionate about as individuals and as part of SANAC.
This year’s official commemoration will be held at Sinaba Stadium in Daveyton, in the City of Ekurhuleni. SANAC Chairperson, Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa will deliver the keynote address. Prior to that, Ramaphosa will interact with adolescent girls and young women in a dialogue to discuss their challenges in light of HIV infections, teenage pregnancy, and the “blesser and blessee” phenomenon.
The minister of health, sector leaders, civil society organisations, government officials and the general public will all be in attendance. The official programme for the day will start at 09h00 and end at 13h00.