13 December 2017 Read: 150
The Department of Social Development’s theme for the HIV/AIDS month “She Conquers” is aimed at discouraging young girls from engaging in sex with older men in what is called the “Blesser and Blessee” phenomenon. This, according to the department, is the main source of infection among the youths. The department has also launched programmes to make sure people go for testing while still early.
Head of department, Dr Ntsi Kgaphola, said as the department they resolved to take the message to the youth, because of the increasing acts in which young girls go out with older men in order to make money. The Doctor stated that old men attract young girls with gifts and as a result the girls are left vulnerable.
“We hope that our message of discouragement will see a decline in the infection rate,” he said. “The message we are sending to men on the other hand, is that they should be circumcised and continue to use condoms. Parents are urged to be vigilant and expose these would-be “blessers” so the Department can put a stop to these acts.”
He added that Aids is not only spread by sex, but through negligent conduct by medical staff with syringes, kissing with someone whose gums are infected, as well as the exchange of razors.
Kgaphola added that the department realised that the Abstain, Be faithful and Condomise (ABC) slogan, did not work as they had hoped. “We have therefore sought other means to spread our message and encourage people to go for testing and receive the medication to prolong their lives. Because of overcrowding at clinics, the department has agreed with shop owners to deliver medicines for the chronically ill people at local shops so patients can access them easily. Patients should not skip their medication, as that makes it hard to heal in time. For example, it takes only six months for tuberculosis to heal, but if medication is interrupted the results may be different.”
He concluded that medication for Aids had been reduced, as patients take one pill instead of three as was the case in the past. Aids day is celebrated in December each year.
— Jan Mafetsa