People living with disabilities in Gauteng have refused to be part of the World AIDS Day commemoration in Dobsonville, Soweto. They say they have not been catered for and cannot access the venue and toilets on wheelchairs.

The event at which Acting President David Mabuza officiated has been poorly attended and most logistics not factored in.

Gauteng Health Member of the Executive Council MEC Gwen Ramakgopa has apologised for the poor organisation of the commemorative function which was initially scheduled to take place in Limpopo.

“The organising team, there’s a lot of things that didn’t go right and for that I want to apologise on their behalf. We are however are very happy that this event was held in Gauteng,” says Ramakgopa.

During the event, Mabuza has urged the youth to take charge of their lives and stand up against the spread of HIV/AIDS.

New campaign to educate the youth

Speaking at the ‘Colour My HIV’, the main commemorative event on World AIDS Day, Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi says a new campaign has been launched to educate the youth on the correct use of condoms in order to stem the spread of HIV/AIDS.

Young people in Gauteng have been meeting for the past two days to seek ways of ending AIDS by 2030. The theme for this year is ‘ Know Your Status ‘.

In the keynote address Acting President David Mabuza urged the youth to know their status and combat the spread of the disease. Motsloaedi says a new female condom will be launched next year.

Mabuza’s impassioned plea

In his role as  Chairperson of the South African National AIDS Council, Mabuza made an impassioned plea to young women to refrain from accepting advances from ‘sugar daddies’ and ‘blessers’.  He says young women are at risk of contracting HIV/AIDS from abusive older men.

“Let us not accept monies from people that want to abuse us. They call them sugar daddies and blessers. Our young girls, please, don’t do that. You might be in need or poor, but you are not going to stay poor. Work hard to change your situation. You must respect your body. You are an asset, respect yourself. Now, old men, this is a bad phenomenon. You don’t want your daughter to be abused. No means no.”