HUNDREDS of students and learners attended the Namibia University of Science and Technology (NUST) annual HIV/AIDS and Wellness Campaign, which is a reflective effort to mark the progress that has been made by the Institution in addressing the impact of the epidemic.
Phindile Sithole-Spong, the founder of Rebranding HIV, a South African sexual health consultancy, delivered the keynote address.
“It was not until I was 19 that I found out that I was one of those people who I had judged and looked down upon for being HIV-positive. At that stage I had full-blown Aids and eventually had to spend three months in the hospital,” Sithole- Spong said candidly.
She added that since her diagnosis, she has vowed to ‘rebrand HIV’, and emphasise that it is not a death sentence.
American Ambassador to Namibia, Ambassador Thomas Daughton, said that extensive research in recent years has shown that there is a cycle of transmission in Namibia that must be stopped, in order to control the HIV epidemic.
NUST Vice-Chancellor, Dr Tjama Tjivikua, echoed the ambassador’s sentiments.
“It is worrisome that despite all the resources available, young people are still the age group with the highest HIV prevalence rate, according the 2016 Sentinel Survey by the Ministry of Health and Social services in Namibia,” Tjivikua said.
He further said that the power to defeat the spread of HIV/Aids lies in partnerships and working together, with each one taking responsibility for being a change agent.
The NUST Student Services Department organised the event and thanked the US Embassy, through the President’s Emergency Plan For AIDS Relief, Nedbank Namibia, Methealth Administrators, Coca-Cola Namibia, the Ministry of Health and Social Services, the Namibia Social Marketing Association, Star for Life, the Cancer Association, Virgin Active, the Namibia Planned Parenthood Association, Healthworks Namibia and Healthworks Voluntary Counselling and Testing, Abt Associates and the Society for Family Health, for supporting the event. The theme for this year’s campaign was ‘Change is in Your Hands’.
Confidente. Lifting the Lid. Copyright © 2015