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STI and Condom week

STI and Condom week

Prevention is better than cure!, this is the message everyone took home during the Metro Aids Council Condom Week event held at Braelyn Hall on Tuesday 14 February.

 

The event was organised with the aim to look into the National Condom Week which is commemorated each year from 14 February until 21 February.

 

The City joined thousands of South Africans in observing this week to increase awareness and to help fight the spread of HIV and Aids as well as caution on myths and stigmas around the virus and sexuality focusing on the community.

 

Speaking about the initiative, Co-Chair of Metro Aids Council Nzuzo Novuka said people must know the importance of getting tested so that they don’t live in fear.

 

“If you’re not infected it doesn’t mean you’re not affected. It is important to ask questions about matters or issues one is not aware of to gain more knowledge. The more one gets more insight the more it is advantageous to share information not just with family members but with the community at large,” said Novuka.

 

He also encouraged residents to attend such programmes “as these forums provide knowledge and a clearer understanding of the various forms of STIs, the symptoms and the importance of getting it checked out before it is too late.”

 

Ward Councillor Mendi Wetsetse said, “The community of Buffalo City Metro both young and old need to be part of sessions like this one to gain more information and to increase their knowledge on STI’s and sexuality associated with HIV and Aids.”

 

“Let us all be responsible, love one another, support and encourage each other,” she said.

 

Giving words of support, Nokuthula Tsawu from the Metro’s Disability Forum said, “Persons living with disabilities also need a voice as they also have sexual needs and need to beware of the dangers of not using protection during intercourse.

 

Tsawu mentioned that women and children living with disability are the most vulnerable not only towards being victims of sexual abuse but in contracting various sexual infections.

 

“The disability sector supports this initiative to address the stigma and myths around disability, reproductive health and sexuality as well as to raise awareness about STI’s and condom usage.”

 

 

As part of the programme of the day, testing centres were also set up to encourage residents to get tested not only for STI’s or HIV but for diabetes and blood pressure levels and also got an opportunity to pose questions and comments to eliminate their fears.

 

Nolizwi Mantsanga a resident from Duncan Village also touched upon the importance of not discriminating against people living with HIV and Aids. “We should be more knowledgeable about the various infections so we can understand and assist other people in our communities who are not aware about the virus.”  

 

“I have learned a lot today and will take what I have learned and share it with my children and my community,” she said.

 

 

 

 

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