AHF held Media Breakfast in Durban looking at issues such as mother-to-child transmission and daily realities of HIV AIDS in South Africa.(SABC)
The AIDS Healthcare Foundation‘s (AHF) is encouraging all sectors dealing with HIV AIDS pandemic to encourage disclosure by those affected by the virus.
AHF held Media Breakfast in Durban looking at issues such as mother-to-child transmission and daily realities of HIV AIDS in South Africa.
The AIDS Healthcare Foundation has encouraged parents to disclose the HIV status of their children so that the children can understand their health status.
The AIDS Healthcare Foundation is the largest non-profit HIV/AIDS health care provider in the world.
The AHF currently provides medical care services to more than 720 000 individuals in 39 countries worldwide.
According to the Joint United Nations Program on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS), despite progress made in HIV/AIDS response, young people especially young women and girls continue to be overly affected by the virus.
About 380,000 new HIV infections occur annually among young women aged 15-24.
Globally, 15% of women living with HIV are aged 15-24, and 80% of them live in sub-Saharan Africa.
The AIDS Healthcare Foundation’s programme director in the country Hilary Thulare says parents often feel guilty to disclose their status to their children.
“We encourage parents to disclose in the family and also to come to our services where they can be helped, taken through processes of accepting that their child is HIV positive and their child has a right to know that they have HIV and they are taking treatment. So, that is an area maybe that all sector that are dealing with HIV including government should look at … disclosure by parents and disclosure by parents to families and disclosure to the children themselves.”
The AIDS Healthcare Foundation is also conducting door-to-door visits aimed at reaching people that would not go to a clinic to test for various disease including HIV and Tuberculosis (TB).
Thulare says some people wait until they are sick before they go to the clinic to seek medical help.
“When we go into a community to provide testing services, we will either do door-to-door where we go into homes and educate the family on HIV and related services and we do not force them to test we allow them to give consent to test for HIV and as soon as they test positive we link them by taking their CD4 and baseline blood for them to be initiated on treatment. The numbers that we have tested in their homes, we see a lot of positive people coming out of that service.”
AIDS Healthcare Foundation is also engaging with school pupils on a range of social issues facing the youth of today at GIRLS ACT workshops in schools around the country.
Topics include health and wellness, HIV, teen pregnancy, gender-based violence and instilling compassion and respect amongst girls and boys towards the opposite sex.
Author: Fanele Mhlongo