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01 December 2022 Mayor’s World Aids Day Message  – Alderman Memory Booysen

Mayor’s World Aids Day Message  – Alderman Memory Booysen

01 December 2022

Globally, HIV and AIDS have been an epidemic for decades. My message today is to encourage our nation, especially our Garden Routers, to commit themselves, unite in the fight against HIV, show support for those living with HIV and remember those who have lost their lives to the disease.

As Garden Route District Municipality, we want to remind you that you can reduce the risk of getting HIV by:

  • Practising abstinence – while you are waiting for the “right’ partner or until you’re ready for a sexual relationship;
  • Use condoms;
  • Ensure that your partner who lives with HIV is taking his or her treatment;
  • Using PrEP, a medicine blocking HIV from infecting oneself;
  • Never sharing needles but rather using sterile needles and syringes for all injections, and lastly;
  • Regularly getting tested and treated for sexually transmitted infections.

In honour of World Aids Day, let’s not forget that HIV remains a reality and that we must continue to fight prejudice, stigma, and discrimination.  It is important to change our attitude and understand that people living with HIV and taking ARVs, are suppressing the virus and preventing its spread.

So, I want to end by emphasizing that World AIDS Day remains as relevant today, as it has always been. HIV has not ‘died’ away. We must continue to create awareness about it, end stigma and discrimination, and do our part to improve the quality of life for people living with HIV.