11 September 2017

Fake prophets and sangomas tell people to throw away HIV meds

Limpopo officials are concerned about the high level of infections among girls and young women, resulting from abuse by adult men.

With the spread of HIV/Aids on the increase in the Vhembe region, local mayors and the executive mayor have joined forces to fight against the virus in the district.

Speaking at the recent launch of the Vhembe Aids Council, Executive Mayor Florence Radzilani said authorities were particularly concerned about the spread of HIV among school girls.

Focus on prevention

“It remains our responsibility to lead a healthy lifestyle. If we became the first ones to get tested for HIV, the people we lead will have courage to go for an HIV test,” said Radzilani.

She was joined in her effort by Thulamela Mayor Avhashoni Tshifhango, LIM345 Mayor Joyce Billa, Makhado Mayor Shonisani Sinyosi and Musina Mayor Mhloti Mhlophe.

The Thulamela Municipality Mayor, Avhashoni Tshifhango said many people still lack adequate information when it comes to HIV/Aids.

“We are aware that some people are still being convinced by fake prophets and sangomas to throw away their medication in order to be healed by holy spirits. Those are some of the things we are going to focus on, as we cannot stand aside and watch while our people are dying because of lack of knowledge and information about HIV,” he said.

Young girls the focus

“One remains concerned about the high level of infections among girls and young women, hence all of us should put more efforts in fighting against abuse of young women by adult men. We should say not with our children and prevent the spread of HIV/Aids,” said Radzilani.

She added: “All stakeholders should be champions of this important campaign to ensure that vulnerable girls and young women remain HIV free.”

The elected council has vowed that their focus will be on prevention as the critical pillar of their campaign. Their campaigns will be conducted together with the provincial Department of Health and other active campaigns focused mostly on young vulnerable girls at tertiary institutions within the province.

Not enough info about HIV

“We will promote awareness, tolerance to those affected and confront all root causes of the societal problems,” she said, adding that the council would also be working with the Treatment Action Campaign(TAC) in the district.

 – Health-e News.

Image credit: iStock