"Doing it together, for the community at large especially as we have come a long way with a scourge of HIV/AIDS it is imperative to support one another with the behavioural change approaches of non-discrimination and stigmatisation thus may we then commemorate our fallen heroes and heroines henceforth and may God bless our land and our souls as the living species…….and continue doing it together!"
The Johannesburg Central Health Department – Public Health Unit
Dr. Refik Bismilla
Executive Director: Health City of Johannesburg
Metropolitan Centre, B Block, 2nd Floor, 158 Loveday Street, Braamfontein, South Africa
+27(0) 11 407 6805
The Public Health Unit has a subdivision for HIV/AIDS and Sexually Transmitted Infections. The function of this subgroup is twofold: social mobilization and community support; and care and prevention. The social mobilization program involves collaboration with the Johannesburg AIDS Council, community organizations, community members, AIDS forums, and informal settlements to help communities create and evaluate support groups for those affected by HIV/AIDS, as well as educational prevention programs.
Care and prevention programs include clinical support for STIs and prevention testing and mothers to prevent mother-to-child transmission. Further, these programs work to provide support and monitor projects focused on commercial sex workers, voluntary testing and counseling centers, community health worker programs, and provides funding to non-governmental organizations.
HIV Counseling and Testing Brochure: http://www.joburg-archive.co.za/2010/pdfs/hiv_counselling.pdf
Commercial Sex Workers Outreach Program: http://www.joburg.org.za/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=648&Itemid=9
Community Leadership Messages
"A lot’ of children come to me and say ‘how do you deal with this?’ [being HIV positive] and I say ‘it is easy’. I ask them how they deal with their lives. I ask them ‘okay if you are ill and then the doctor said to you take this medicine for this month, would you do it or wouldn't you do it?’ and they say to me ‘I will do it’. And then I ask them why and they say ‘because I′d like to be well and healthy’. And then I say ‘okay, I′d also like to be healthy. I′m taking my medication every day so that's no big deal about that’ and then they say ‘okay so it's not a big deal"
“I would advise them [other HIV positive adolescents] and teach them about ARV's and that they still have a chance to live. Having HIV doesn't mean that they are going to die any time soon. It's just a virus and you can control it if you want to. You mustn't let it control you because there are doctors that give us ARV's for free”
“I picture myself helping people who are HIV positive, encouraging them with their treatment, advising them not to give up with life, not to think that it's the end of the world, you know”
“We are all responsible for our own health, some of us just need a little more help than others. Hence there are many community projects that’s able to assist you to know your HIV status and assist you to access treatment and support. Be responsible, Get tested today and be Health Empowered, it’s all up to you!”
"You might be HIV Positive but that does not stop you from living or achieving your life goals. Remember you are loved and supported by us and the people around. A pill once a day keeps a doctor away."
“I care, you care ….and together we can successfully manage and reduce the rate of infection on HIV/AIDS, TB and STI scourge particularly amongst adolescent girls and young women not leaving behind men as sex partners."