The 6th South African AIDS conference held in Durban on the 18-21 June saw WhizzKids United CEO and founder, Marcus McGilvray, being given a platform to present the informative WKU poster at the International Convention Centre.
The much anticipated global AIDS gathering conference was attended by a host of NGOs, researchers, experts, dignitaries and South Africa’s deputy president, Kgalema Motlanthe. WhizzKids United were privileged to be a pioneering partner in the fight against HIV and AIDS, as a core affiliate and key role player, the WKU United poster was displayed for the general viewing of the public.
Gugu Mofokeng, WhizzKids United Healthy Academy manager, who accompanied Marcus to the conference, was delighted to be part of the ever increasing trend of combating HIV & AIDS. A thrilled Gugu summoned the themes of this year’s conference, and most importantly emphasised the significance of being able to stumble upon similar issues that WKU tackle on a daily bases. The government’s Ministry of Health, specifically in South Africa, voiced concern on HIV & AIDS related matters that concern ordinary citizens, most of which were partially overlooked in the past. Gugu however strongly maintains that WhizzKids United’s forefront beliefs are matters that should be tackled from the ground, gradually leading to resolute solutions. WKU are constantly intervening for the improvement in health of people living with HIV & AIDS and seek to establish findings from the conference.
“In this year’s conference, the National Minister of Health addressed issues that we are dealing with on the ground at the WhizzKids United Health Academy. With issues that he touched on, he also came up with possible solutions but challenged the conference to come with ways of dealing with those issues,” said Gugu.
WKU acknowledged that the status quo in relation to the virus which the Department of Health pointed out during the conference was tantamount to the organization’s fundamental aims. WKU was also aware of the trends and pressing matters that major in the struggle against the virus, namely; intergenerational sex and TB infections.
Gugu had the unique privilege of attending educational sessions during the conference, the sessions were broken into segments of modules which included, IPT for People Living with HIV, behaviour change communication, writing a grant application, impact on HIV on young people and the education sector’s response to HIV and TB.
“The sessions I attended were educational and I learned a great deal. The session on the impact of HIV on young people made me realize the extent of the gap in the work or research done on adolescents.”
KwaZulu-Natal was dubbed a fair and almost leading province in the roll out of ARVs and the PMTCT programme. The province’s struggle against HIV related sickness, TB, however was one that needed combating as it did not show signs of diminution.
According to statics and reports released at the conference, the number of South African’s infected with HIV has risen from 5.4 million in 2008 to 6.4 million, according to the latest report from the Human Sciences Research Council. The staggering figure goes on to estimate that out of the 6.4 million South Africans infected with HIV, approximately four million are woman and just over two million are men.