Young people urged to protect themselves against HIV

Langa Aids Project workers distribute pamphlets and speaking to young people about health issues.

The Langa Aids Project is calling on people to support the youth in the fight against HIV/Aids.

During a World Aids Day event, on Thursday December 1, at the Langa taxi rank, the project, in partnership with Phaphamani Sizwe, said it would work tirelessly to ensure young people’s development.

The project caters for children and vulnerable women in Langa, through referrals to the clinic.

It also called on people to understand the importance of gender equality and know that women too have a voice and rights. It said in the past the society and culture had undermined women.

Scores of passengers and passers-by were encouraged to test for the disease, while condoms were distributed to taxi drivers and the public.

Event co-ordinator Nolusapho Gubuza said they were happy to see children taking condoms.

“It means we are doing something right. They are now coming forward to speak and take condoms. We want them to protect themselves. We cannot relax for the sake of their lives,” she said.

She also applauded men and women for their involvement in the fight against HIV/Aids, but added that a lot still needed to be done. She said the fight against the scourge could not be won overnight.

“Today we have taken the services to people. This is what we should be doing, going out and encouraging people to test and to know their status. They have done us proud in the fight against the disease,” she said.

Guest speaker Mamakopo Mathebula condemned parents for not speaking to their children about sex and its consequences. She said that while parents kept mum, children learnt from other sources. “Now that it is school holidays, these children are having sex. We must speak to them about it and its results. We should not be shy to tell them,” she said.

Langa police’s Sergeant Nonkosi Mapukata called on residents to take a stand against abuse, saying: “We do not condone crime of any form. We are against gender-based violence and many other crimes. Should one do that, we have no choice but to arrest them. People should not take the law into their hands either.”