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Wednesday, 25 October 2006

Conquering HIV and AIDS together

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Everyone has to play their part to stop the HIV/Aids epidemic in South Africa. This was the message of the HIV/Aids activist, Mr Phill Wilson, to staff and students recently at the Cape Peninsula University of Technology.

Mr Wilson is the founder and Executive Director of the Black AIDS Institute in Los Angeles, America. He has been HIV-positive for the past 25 years.

The mission of the Black Aids Institute is to stop the AIDS pandemic in black communities by engaging and mobilising black institutions and individuals in efforts to confront HIV.

“I am still alive because of the love and support of my family and friends and because I have access to the best medical care. Many don’t have that privilege,” Mr Wilson told a packed lecture theatre on the Bellville campus.

Thirty million people have died of Aids worldwide of which the majority is black people. “The only way to stop Aids in black communities is for strong institutions with the capital and the infrastructure to make it happen. Everyone has to do their part. We must encourage each other to be informed. Find out about the facts of Aids and encourage each other to get tested.”

Mr Wilson told students and staff that Aids is not an automatic death sentence. People need to get involved by talking to each other.

“We can all outlive this disease. The one thing that keeps me going is my determination to beat this thing. I continue to take care of myself and refuse to live in shame,” said Mr Wilson.

Mr Wilson also donated a number of HIV/Aids-related books that are available from the Bellville Library. The HIV/Aids Unit also distributed copies of a text book developed by staff members. 2 Be Aids Aware is available to staff members. Contact Mr Peter le Roux at lerouxp@cput.ac.za.

FIGHTERS: (Back from left) Busisiwe Matanga (HIV/Aids Peer Counsellor), and Cris Kaangundue (HIV/Aids Peer Counsellor). (Middle from left) Ashanti Nkayi (HIV/Aids Peer Counselor), Lion Kahimise (HIV/Aids Peer Counselor), Ms Helen Malgas (HIV/Aids Counsellor), Mr Phill Wilson and Mr Peter le Roux (HIVCoordinator). (Front) Nwabisa Potwama (HIV/Aids Peer Counselor).

Written by CPUT News

Email: news@cput.ac.za