THE fight to find a cure for HIV/Aids is ongoing.
But it is not just government’s duty. It is everyone’s responsibility. The public, with private health organisations and NGOs, need to promote and practise safer sex.
Mo-Afrika Itlhokomele is a community-based organisation that offers education on health. They go around Pimville and neighbouring areas to talk about condom use, especially during STI/Condom Week, which starts today and ends on Friday, 15 February.
Joseph Didishe, the operational manager at Mo-Afrika Itlhokomele, said: “While many people are willing to listen and talk about HIV/Aids and safer sex, many will not use condoms.
“Many women complain about the new women’s condom. They say the sponge inside irritates them.
“Men complain that traditional male condoms reduce the feeling of sex and pleasure of the orgasm.”
Didishe said, during their outreach drive, they also visit people at home because not everyone is comfortable talking about sex in public.
Places on their agenda this week include eMaganda Gandeni near Orlando East, Holomisa in Nancefield, the Nancefield Hostel and Nomzamo.
They will also be in Pimville zone 9 – also known as zone 14 – where they will be doing HIV tests.
“Our purpose is to reach as many people as possible in the week and convince them to practise safer sex by using condoms and having sex in a committed relationship.
“Condoms are contraceptives that prevents unprepared pregnancies.”
He said the staff of Mo-Afrika Itlhokomele also discuss the social issues affecting people who come to the talks so the discussion also includes topics about health and lifestyle.
All the people they visit or see all the time are given free packs of condoms to use whenever needed.
But Didishe said people also need to take themselves to clinics and check on their health status.
“We also go to schools and talk to pupils about crime, life in general as well as sex education.”
SunHealth interviewed some of the people who visited the Mo-Afrika stall:
Zanele Tshabalala (33) and Irene Netshirungulu (32) said they use condoms because they don’t want to fall pregnant unexpectedly.
Lindiwe Nyembe (30) said she doesn’t use condoms because she has a stable partner. They regularly check their status at the clinic together.