FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
24 NOVEMBER 2022
ETHEKWINI MUNICIPALITY HARD AT WORK TO CURB SPREAD OF HIV/AIDS
EThekwini Municipality has intensified its programmes to work with structures to curb the spread of HIV/AIDS and other related diseases. The eThekwini area is reported to have the highest rate of HIV/AIDS as well as TB. This was revealed on 23 November at a Mayoral engagement held with people living openly with HIV and AIDS.
The engagement was held at the Garden Court, Marine Parade.
The engagement by eThekwini Mayor Councillor Mxolisi Kaunda aimed to discuss the impact the COVID-19 pandemic had on HIV/AIDS and the subsequent setback in treatment management. It also highlighted the challenges faced by people living with the virus and their successes ahead of the World AIDS Day commemoration on 1 December.
Discussions highlighted the need to revive ward and zonal AIDS councils and political oversight to address HIV and AIDS related matters at a ward level.
Mayor Kaunda said hosting the session with people living with HIV and AIDS was important to collectively turn the tide against the spread of the virus.
He said the COVID-19 pandemic derailed HIV and TB treatment management. “This important engagement was needed to identify strategies to re-energise communities and encourage them to regain control and get back on track with their medication,” he said.
Mayor Kaunda expressed concern that the rate of new HIV infections was prevalent among adolescent girls and young women between 13 and 19.
Nokulunga Hlengwa, 22, who was born HIV positive and is living openly with the virus was grateful for the Mayoral engagement. “The Mayor was here to listen to challenges faced by people living with HIV and AIDS. The journey has not been easy as I was born with the disease, I faced discrimination and rejection but through it all, I survived,” she said.
“Living with HIV is not a death sentence. You can lead a healthy and happy life, I finished school and am an ambassador educating children and the youth about HIV and positive living,” added Hlengwa.
The Municipality has programmes and services in place to ensure a coordinated response to HIV/AIDS and management of the disease. The City works closely with community structures to ensure residents have access to information and treatment and are well informed on health-related matters.
Issued by eThekwini Municipality’s Communications Unit. For media enquiries contact the Municipality’s Spokesperson, Msawakhe Mayisela on 060 966