The spread of HIV/AIDS is still a great concern in South Africa:
For many years different intensive measures have been undertaken to control the spread of HIV/AIDS across the world. Some of these measures have succeeded and the rate in which AIDS had been spreading was somehow brought under control. Many people realised the importance of changing their behaviour in order to prevent the spread of the pandemic.
Parallel to these measures there are currently different initiatives which are working towards finding the cure for HIV/AIDS and in turn one of the great discoveries towards preventing the disease from spreading and reducing the number of deaths caused by the pandemic was the discovery of ARVs. It is through ARVs that many lives have been and continue to be saved, including the lives of infants born from mothers infected with the virus who could be born free of the infection unlike before.
Today those who are infected are now able to live longer provided that they are faithful to their treatment, and live a healthy and responsible life.
Southern Africa Catholic Bishops’ Conference (SACBC), for many years have been working together with other concerned stakeholders and have been one of the powerful agents fighting against the spread of HIV and AIDS.
In the year 2000 the SACBC established the AIDS Office which is responsible for coordinating the Catholic Church’s response to HIV/AIDS in South Africa, Botswana and Swaziland (SACBC Website).
It is very unfortunate that after so many years of initiatives the rate of infection has once again risen in South Africa. According to Dr. Amy Herman-Roloff, the CDC National Directory, every day in South Africa there are about 600 new HIV infections.
As part of a continuous initiative to combat the spread of HIV/AIDS, during this week there is a National AIDS Conference at ICC in Durban. This 9th AIDS conference is focusing on the unprecedented scientific, social and digital innovations and technologies which could expand possibilities and opportunities towards controlling the HIV/AIDS epidemic.
On the 12th and 13th of June, during the conference, the SACBC Justice and Peace Commission and United Nations Women will lead a discussion on tavern interventions as one of the models for engaging men to adopt responsible behaviour in response to gender-based violence and HIV/AIDS.
Fr Stan Muyebe OP, Director of the SACBC Justice and Peace Commission would like to invite all the people of good will to follow the conference, so that they may be aware of the new updates regarding the issues involving HIV/AIDS.