Spare a prayer for victims of abuse who contract HIV‚ says Tshwane mayor
Solly Msimanga‚ the executive mayor of Tshwane‚ on Friday committed his administration to doing more to combat the cycle of abuse‚ which also placed women and children at risk of HIV infection.
"We have a responsibility to protect our women and children and respect and care for those living with HIV‚" he said.
Noting that World Aids Day falls within the 16 Days of Activism against gender based violence‚ which ends on December 10‚ he said: "Women and children are often victims of rape and child abuse and thus suffer the shattering consequence of contracting HIV".
"The time has come to turn the tide against the long-term devastating effects of premature deaths and avert new infections. This we can achieve by joining hands and being vocal and indeed proclaiming ... 'Not in my name'.... We have an obligation to bring abuse cases to the fore."
He commended home-based care givers‚ activists‚ health professionals‚ support groups and church workers making a contribution to the management of the HIV pandemic.
"Partnerships like these are what we need to make a difference."
Quoting Statistics SA‚ he said the estimated overall HIV prevalence rate in the country was approximately 11‚2% of the total South African population in 2015. The total number of people living with HIV was estimated at approximately 6‚19 million in 2015. For adults aged 15–49 years‚ an estimated 16‚6% of the population is HIV positive.
Msimanga said the Tshwane administration "commits to support and contribute to the developmental agenda of fighting HIV and abuse. We commit to be active role players in all efforts to prevent the spread of HIV and mitigate the impact in communities".
Urging residents to make use of the health clinics‚ which are spread over seven regions in the city‚ to test their status‚ he said: "HIV is not a death sentence but a manageable disease that requires constant imparting of knowledge on how to live a healthy‚ positive life."