Pretoria - Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa is expected to launch the National HIV Prevention Campaign for Girls and Young Women at the Royal Agricultural Showgrounds in Pietermaritzburg on Friday.
The three-year campaign will focus on HIV infection, unwanted pregnancies, school drop-out, sexual and gender-based violence, unemployment and a shortage of economic opportunities for girls and young women.
It is estimated that girls between the ages of 15 and 19 are up to eight times more likely to be HIV positive than males of the same age.
The launch of the campaign will be attended by youth from different high schools, communities from all sub-districts of Umgungundlovu, as well as representatives from all nine provinces.
Deputy President Ramaphosa, who is the chair of the South African National Aids Council, is expected to be joined by Health Minister Dr Aaron Motsoaledi, Premiers, MECs for Health and Mayors. Civil society leaders and representatives of South Africa's international partners in the fight against HIV, Aids and TB, are also expected at the launch.
Activities planned for the day include an “awareness walk” from Market Square to the showgrounds. Deputy President Ramaphosa will also visit stalls at Market Square and interact with girls and young women.
Ambassadors of the United States, Germany and the Global Fund to Fight Aids, Tuberculosis and Malaria are also expected to sign a pledge.
The launch forms part of the build-up to the 21st International Aids Conference to take place in Durban from 18 to 22 July 2016. This will be the second time South Africa hosts the International Aids Conference. South Africa first hosted the event in 2000. – SAnews.gov.za