Nonceba at AIDS Consortium Gauteng BUA. 06/09
AIDS Consortium Gauteng BUA Meeting Report – June 2009
HIV and Youth – Multiple Concurrent Partnerships
On the 2nd June, the Gauteng bua@AC session was looking at Multiple Concurrent Partnerships as seen by the youth and how this contributes to the spread of HIV in our country. I was impressed by the large number of young people who attended this session. The participation of both youth and the elderly help them to understand the real issues facing them in their communities and households. It made it easier for both parties to come up with solutions and ideas on how to take responsibility of their own relationships and on decreasing the infections of HIV.
Young people were given a platform to share their concerns and pressures they face in schools and community.
Young people also stressed that poverty and peer pressure are factors that increase the risk of infection in their community and they ask their parents and teachers to start finding easier and effect ways of communicating with them.
June AIDS Consortium’s Heroin Ms Tender Mavundla addressed young people and shared her experiences of living with HIV and choices young people make to have a better life or a life of luxury, that puts them at risk of HIV infection.
About the HEROES Campaign
The “HEROES campaign” is an AIDS Consortium initiative responding to the negative perception of classifying HIV and AIDS as an outcome of sexual excess and low moral character. This perception discourages disclosure and fuels stigma and discrimination.
This campaign aims to challenge stigma and discrimination on the basis of one’s HIV status by encouraging discussion and disclosure.
“bua” is a Sotho word meaning “talk”; it was commonly used at activists’ meetings in the apartheid struggle. When one was making a valid point and the supporters wanted to support his/her statement, they would just say “bua”, which encouraged freedom of expression. These sessions also encouraged networking, comradeship and skills transfer. This epitomises the AC monthly meetings, hence – bua@AC.