Pretoria — Minister of Higher Education and Training Dr Blade Nzimande has sent out a message of encouragement to students who will be going to higher education and training institutions to learn all they can about protection against HIV infection, and to those already infected to take care of their health to ensure that they still fulfil their dreams.
"I particularly want to call upon those who are about to start at institutions of higher learning, who will for the first time in their lives be independent and away from direct parental supervision, to get the information and knowledge so that they may behave in a way that does not expose them to the risk of contracting HIV," Minister Nzimande said.
HIV and AIDS remains one of the world's most grave health challenges, tragically affecting academics, government officials and weakening communities and society in general.
The Department of Higher Education and Training has made a commitment to incorporate the fight against the HIV and AIDS pandemic in all its skills development initiatives in institutions of higher learning and training.
"Students should be thought at a young age about the dangers of engaging in unprotected sex, and those already infected should make use of government's programmes for management of the disease.
"HIV is not a life sentence. It affects us all as many of those not infected, are in most cases affected," said the Minister.
"We should join hand in hand to support those who are already infected by the virus and encourage those who don't know their status to get tested so that they can continue a full and healthy lifestyle," he said.