MEC encourages youth to get tested

Monday, November 30, 2009

Pretoria - Gauteng Health and Social Development MEC Qedani Mahlangu has encouraged the youth to get tested for HIV and AID.

"Go to your nearest health facility, seek pre-counseling, test and get your results. Knowing your status especially if you are positive, will help you get the right treatment and necessary support which will prolong your life," said Mahlangu.

She was speaking at the official launch of an HIV and AIDS expo, at the Mary Fitzgerald Square in Newtown, on the eve of World AIDS Day.

Mahlangu also committed to making available more female condoms and also to educate women on how to use them.

The three-day expo which will end on Wednesday aims to encourage the spirit of a caring community. This will be done through reinforcing the spirit of ubuntu.

The expo will not only showcase the work done by civil society, the public and private sectors but it will also encourage dialogue as well as voluntary counseling and testing.

On Tuesday, President Jacob Zuma is expected to address South Africans from all walks of life at an event to be held at the Pretoria Show Grounds to commemorate World AIDS Day today.

Under the theme "I am responsible, We are responsible, South Africa is taking responsibility", this year's World AIDS Day heralds a new era in the country's collective effort in the response to HIV and AIDS.

The theme encourages everyone in South Africa from individuals, communities, businesses and government to take personal and collective responsibility to stop new HIV infections, provide care and support to those living with HIV and to ensure access to treatment for all people in need.

The day's activities are intended to bring the country together to revitalise the fight against AIDS and take the campaign to higher levels.