Local celebs to help communicate HIV messages

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Durban - Local celebs agree they have an important role to play in spreading messages on HIV and AIDS prevention.

The 4th Southern African AIDS Conference, currently underway in Durban, got some colour yesterday when local celebs such as Sipho "hotstix" Mabuse, Sephemo Rapulana who is known as Tau from Generations and soccer star Shoes Moshoeu got together in a round table discussion on the role their peers can play with regards to HIV and AIDS prevention.

HIV and AIDS affects all South Africans, including celebrities, and it is time communication around the disease is strengthened, said well known comedian Kenneth Nkosi.

"I've lost two cousins to AIDS and I think it is time to do something and strengthen our communications strategy on HIV to reach people in deep rural areas and encourage condom use," he said.

Mr Nkosi said many celebrities were keen to help spread the message to prevent the disease as well as ensure no more lives were lost.

Springbok Captain John Smit agreed that celebrities had a role to play in social issues.

Shoes Moshoeu, who is taking part in the Department of Health's "scrutinize" campaign, urged people to join hands with celebrities and make a difference in people's lives.

Launched last year, the "scrutinize" campaign uses animated characters to urge the youth to scrutinize their risky behaviour.

He said it was important for people to receive an education so that they could understand the campaign's message and the facts it was trying to put across.

Mr Rapulana said: "We have to let people know that it is not cool to have multiple partners."