HIV

Kings support TB HIV Care initiatives in the Eastern Cape

In the lead-up to World AIDS Day, members of the abaThembu Royal Family in OR Tambo District in the Eastern Cape, led by His Majesty King Zwelibanzi Dalindyebo, decided to throw their weight behind a campaign that emphasises the importance of HIV treatment adherence and retention in care.

Treatment adherence was just one of the challenges addressed at the Eastern Cape’s AIDS Day commemoration, which was held at the North End Stadium in Matatiele on Friday, 01 December. The Royal Family encouraged members of all communities to attend, and they will continue to facilitate community engagement by hosting advocacy workshops and seminars, meetings with traditional leaders within the Kingdom, and cultural events to engage directly with affected individuals and provide support and education.

In addition, the King Dalimvula Matanzima Foundation (KDMF) has agreed to partner with TB HIV Care to address the intertwined challenges of tuberculosis and HIV in the Eastern Cape – a cause that resonates with KDMF’s commitment to community upliftment.

Both royal families recognise the pivotal role they can play, and look forward to leveraging their networks, resources, voice and influence to bring about positive change – and transform the health and wellbeing of their people.

Many thanks to Siphamandla Mabesi, TB HIV Care Communications Coordinator, who is driving this initiative and working hard to build strong relationships with key stakeholders in the Eastern Cape.

World AIDS Day 2023

On Friday, 1 December TB HIV Care attended a number of World AIDS Day events around the country, including the National Event in Mandeni, KZN; the Eastern Cape Provincial Event in Matatiele; and the Western Cape Provincial Event in Khayelitsha, where TB HIV Care joined the community in raising the voices of the youth, paving the way for the younger generation to lead the way to health and wellness.

Our Correctional Services Programme celebrated the day with the Rustenburg Area Commissioner Officer of Correctional Services in LMN (Limpopo, Mpumalanga and North West), who invited TB HIV Care to  deliver a talk on U=U and the linkage of released inmates back into the community.

Our Key Populations team marked the day with a special outreach in Wynberg, where HIV testing services were offered to clients and residents.

Launch of social ills campaign in eThekwini

On 31 August 2023, the TB HIV Care PPPrev Team joined the Deputy Minister of Health, Sibongiseni Dhlomo, at the launch of a new inter-departmental campaign in eThekwini. The campaign, led by the Department of Basic Education and supported by TB HIV Care, aims to end social ills such as violence, bullying, gender-based violence, learner pregnancy, and drug and substance abuse that ultimately affect adolescents and young people (AYP).

Presenters echoed the same sentiments, highlighting that teenage pregnancy remains a considerable challenge in KZN schools. The Deputy Minister cautioned that once adolescent girls begin menstruating, they can fall pregnant, urging learners to abstain from early sexual debut.

“There is no benefit in using drugs and alcohol; however, this can increase your vulnerability to rape or pregnancy. As young people, you should have a plan for your life to navigate school and, ultimately, your career and be able to contribute to the economy of this country. I encourage every learner to take charge of their future and health outcomes,” said Dhlomo.

According to the Commission for Gender Equality (CGE), the high teenage pregnancy rate contributes to the high drop-out rate in schools, thus harming the mother and child’s health, education and socio-economic status.

The social ills campaign follows TB HIV Care’s PPPrev Team’s recent launch of the ‘0% Learner Pregnancy’ campaign in eThekwini and the upcoming radio campaign which will shine a spotlight on the issue – just some of the intensive campaigns that PPPrev eThekwini has embarked on to end teenage pregnancy in the district.