Unity urged in fighting HIV/AIDS in higher education

AHEAD of the 21st International AIDS Conference, the KwaZulu-Natal Department of Health, together with four KZN universities (DUT, UKZN, MUT and UniZulu) and the eThekwini Municipality, launched a higher education initiative at DUT’s Mansfield Hall, Ritson Campus recently.

The structure’s focus is higher education and its aim is to fight the spread of HIV/Aids in higher education in the eThekwini region.

In his welcome note, Civil Society Chairman, Siyabonga Nzimande, said it was time for people to make sure that they made healthy choices and decisions.

He further added that it was time for South Africa to have positive role models and for parents to face the reality that children as young as 14 years are engaging in sexual activities.

KZN MEC for Health Dr Sbongiseni Dhlomo said it was evident in the province that there was a need for such an initiative with the province having the highest new HIV infection rates and the highest overall prevalence of infection with a large number of youth between the ages of 18 and 24 affected and infected the most.

“It’s worrying that people who are infected the most are youth and who are in eThekwini. This cannot be good because this is where the three higher education institutions are. Universities are the best environments to educate about HIV, STIs, TB and healthy living,” said Dr Dhlomo.

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