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Joburg kicks off HIV campaign Print E-mail
29 November 2017

With World AIDS Day approaching, the City of Johannesburg has begun creating awareness starting with its most valuable assets, the employees.

The City staged a campaign at Dlamini Recreation Centre in Soweto on 29 November 2017 for staff members stationed at Region D.

“Employee wellness is vital to the City of Johannesburg because healthy employees are productive employees. Both internal and external forces contribute to productivity or the lack thereof. This is a day where we encourage staff members to take stock of their lives,” said Priscilla Iverson, an EAP Adviser at the Johannesburg Parks and Zoo.

“It is important that you check how you are standing healthwise, not only in relation to HIV and AIDS but in all health matters. We are gathered today to recommit ourselves in the fight against HIV and AIDS, to inform the infected that it is not the end of the world and to encourage those not infected to take caution in all that they do. It must also be understood that we may not all be infected, but we are all affected the disease,” concluded Iverson.

Health expert from Anova Health Institute Zaphnet Chipuke gave advice on the benefits of early detection and early treatment.

“To encourage people to get tested, we first need to fight the stigma surrounding HIV and AIDS. Clinics across the country are equipped with ARVs but due to the stigma people are not making use of this opportunity.

“Early treatment comes with benefits among those are reducing chances of getting to the second stage, which is AIDS. You also reduce TB and the development of other diseases associated with HIV and less chances of infecting your partner,” said Chipuke.

“Having mentioned benefits of early treatment, it must also be noted that prevention is better than cure. There are various methods, both medical and non-medical, of HIV prevention and reducing the risk of infection, such as using a condom, abstaining and male medical circumcision. Medically people can make use of Post-Exposure Prophylaxis, which is treatment given to people who suspect they might have been exposed to the virus in some way. This pill is given to HIV negative people but are at substantial risk of being infected.”

"Encouraging employees infected by HIV was City of Johannesburg’s employee, Khunjulwa Ntlemeza, who has been living with HIV for over 20 years. People need not fear HIV. We all need to open up and talk about it and stop dying alone in our corners, said Ntlemeza.

“The City has many support structures for people living with HIV. Let us all tap into these benefits provided by the City.”


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Last Updated on 29 November 2017