Parallel to the 16 Days of activism for no violence against women and children is the commemoration of World AIDS Day. According to World Health Organisation (WHO) statistics, 36.7 million people are living with HIV globally. On this day, all members of societies from all walks of life will gather together in various activities to ensure that communities are aware of the scourge of AIDS and begin to contribute to the reduction of its impact. That could be through knowing your own HIV status, encouraging others to know their HIV status or any other form of action to contribute towards ending the HIV & AIDS pandemic.
SARCS has an auxiliary role to play to assist the government in reaching its goal of curbing the harsh impacts brought about by this social ill. Several awareness campaigns will be conducted in conjunction with various stakeholders including amongst others; state organizations like the Department of Health, Education and Social Development as well as partnering NGO’s and business entities.
About 10 000 people were attended to last year through SARCS World AIDS Day campaigns including build up sessions towards the day which featured awareness on Gender Based Violence and the significance of the day. Even more people are targeted this year and over 12 campaigns are to be conducted through the tireless efforts of KZN, Eastern Cape and Limpopo Provinces through Peer Educators and their creative sessions, especially with young people.
This year, these sessions conducted will be inclusive of Dissemination of Red Cross Principles and values. All the work done during the commemorations will be prepared to ensure that more preventative messages are passed on to local communities, more knowledge of self HIV status are realised as per the mandate of the 90 90 90 World Health Organization strategy and consequently the SA National Strategic Plan of the Department of Health.
Provinces will also be ensuring that condom distribution and demonstrations are featured in their events to revive people especially young ones that protected sex is remains one of the key responsibilities to uphold in reducing further infections. Advocacy for human rights through key messages on prevention and dealing with abusive and violent relationships will also be highlighted as important sessions during the events.