Celebrities to help educate youth on HIV/AIDS

Friday, September 11, 2009

Johannesburg - Government has called on sport personalities and celebrities to participate in communication campaigns aimed at educating young people on HIV and AIDS, among other things.

Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe on Friday urged various sporting codes and arts organisations to form a united front and spread information on access to care and support services for HIV and AIDS treatment as well as alcohol and drug abuse.

"Our programmes must focus on communication campaigns that talk directly to young people and our messages must discourage the youth from both alcohol and drug abuse and for those that are sexually active, the use of a condom is an imperative," he said.

Motlanthe said it was a universally known truth that sports and entertainment have the most direct and positive influence on society, adding that celebrities should use their fame and energy to campaign on these issues and generate a lasting legacy that will ensure campaigns are clearly visible and continue beyond the 2010 World Cup.

Government awareness campaigns and the work of the South African National AIDS Council (SANAC) will be improved by the contribution from singers, sporting icons and actors, he added.

Motlanthe was addressing a SANAC Sports and Entertainment Sector Summit which aimed at finding ways in which the sport and entertainment sectors could fight the pandemic.

The objectives of the summit was to take stock of HIV programmes, activities and projects within the sector and feeding into the mid-term review of the NSP 2007-2011, planning and coordinating the contribution of the sector towards the attainment of the goals of the NSP and making recommendations for the evaluation and monitoring of progress in the sector