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Shopsteward Volume 27: Special Bulletin

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Media Centre  |  COSATU Press Statements

World Aids Day Commemoration 1 December 2012

30 November 2012

The Global Campaign theme for World Aids day 2012 is “2011-2015: Getting to Zero: Zero new infections, Zero discrimination, Zero AIDS-related deaths”. This means that we must not get infected with HIV; there must never be any person who is living with HIV be discriminated against, and there must never be any death that is related to HIV.

As we will all be celebrating the day, COSATU encourages all South Africans to ask themselves one question, “Do I know my status?”

It is important that as workers we must emphasise that any worker who is living with HIV must never be discriminated against in the workplace. A comrade with HIV is still my comrade! COSATU cares!

The message from COSATU is: let us all go and get tested and know our HIV status; it is the best thing that any person can do, not just for yourselves but for your families, and our communities.

Remember: ‘I am responsible. We are responsible. South Africa is taking responsibility’. COSATU encourage all our members to commemorate this day by having dialogue on the benefits of testing for HIV, knowing your HIV status, and how to disclose to your families.

The planned activities in 2012 for World Aids Day will incorporate football. Just to remind you, in 2010 FIFA World Cup 28 team captains signed an appeal under the auspices of the UNAIDS campaign entitled ‘From Soweto to Rio de Janeiro, give AIDS the Red Card to prevent babies from becoming infected with HIV’. The first lady of Gabon, Sylvia Bongo, launched a very successful ‘CAN SANS SIDA’ (‘CAN without AIDS’) campaign during CAN2012, using high profile football players as Goodwill Ambassadors.

South Africa is hosting again next year 2013 – the Africa Cup of Nations - the football championship of Africa organized by the Confederation of African Football (CAF), from 19th January until 10 February 2013. HIV has been approved as one of the health campaigns during the tournament. South Africa has been noted as the country with the best practice to deal with HIV. We had a comprehensive HCT plan and over the years. We have tested 17million people, and further have 2 million people on antiretroviral treatment.

A national football event will mark World AIDS Day 2012. It will take place at Profert Olën Park Stadium in Potchefstroom, Tlokwe Municipality, and Dr Kenneth Kaunda District, North West Province on Saturday 1 December. The emphasis of the day will be on HIV prevention – specifically HIV Counselling and Testing (HCT), condom promotion and distribution and promotion of medical male circumcision (MMC).

The day will also be used to promote healthy living – exercising, eating well, not smoking or drinking excessively and reducing stress. The day will start with a walk to the stadium (using the example of the walk in Natalspruit on World AIDS Day 2010), dancing and other physical activity. COSATU members in North West are encouraged to join the activity.

With the implementation of the HIV & Aids and STI Strategic Plan, South Africa has made significant advances, with a steady increase in the number of people receiving antiretroviral treatment. But there is no room for complacency. HIV & Aids remains a major health challenge. Hundreds of people continue to die needlessly because they are not receiving treatment.

Let us rededicate ourselves to the struggle to achieve our overall ‘zero vision’!

Jacqueline Bodibe (Occupational Health & Safety, HIV and AIDS Policy Co-ordinator)
Congress of South African Trade Unions
110 Cnr Jorrisen and Simmonds Streets

P.O.Box 1019
South Africa

Tel: +27 11 339-4911/24
Fax: +27 11 339-5080 / 6940
Mobile: +27 82 523 7837
E-Mail: jacqueline@cosatu.org.za or jbodibe@yahoo.com