HIV/Aids: Daveyton youth call for open discussions around sex

Hundreds of people gathered at the Sinaba Stadium in the township on Thursday to commemorate World Aids Day.

A group of young women present pieces of art during a World Aids Day event in Daveyton, east of Johannesburg, on 1 December 2016. Picture: Reinart Toerien/EWN

JOHANENSBURG – Young people in Daveyton on the East Rand say they want to contribute to the fight against HIV and Aids but have called for support from government and elders who they have accused of shutting them out.

Hundreds of people gathered at the Sinaba Stadium in the township on Thursday to commemorate World Aids Day.

They were visited by Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa, Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi and Gauteng Premier David Makhura.

Statistics from the South African National Aids Council shows that rates of new infections are increasing among the youth, with the highest contributor being women between the ages of 15 and 24.

Palesa Mopedi, a young woman living in Daveyton, says adults need to start feeling comfortable talking about sex and its consequences with the youth.

“The issue of Aids and sexual health is an issue that the whole community is involved in. it should be a discussion that happens openly.”

In his address to those gathered Ramaphosa agreed that the youth must not be left out.

“It is in our hands to end HIV and Tuberculous through be our behaviour and through our relationships.”

South Africa has the highest profile of the HIV pandemic in the world with over seven million people living with the disease.

(Edited by Leeto M Khoza)