December 1st marks World Aids Day, which is observed around the world. South Africa in particular is feeling the effects of HIV/AIDS more acutely than most nations and the IFP believes that the Government needs to put more effort into educating the youth about it, specifically in rural areas.
IFP Spokesperson on Health, Mrs Hilda Msweli MP, said, "Although our Government is spending large sums of money on fighting HIV/AIDS, the need to properly educate young people is often overlooked. The quality and approach of sex education in schools should be evaluated, and parents should be equipped to speak to their children about sex and its consequences."
Councillors and traditional leaders in rural communities need to take an active role in talking about HIV/AIDS, helping communities come alongside those who have contracted this disease in order to help them.
"We need the full involvement of communities in educating the younger generation about the potential consequences of their choices when it comes to sex. Let's be open about it, so that they will know how to avoid contracting and spreading HIV. Our biggest fight may well be against the prostitution of young people, especially along trucking routes. Many of the truck drivers who engage prostitutes along the road never get tested, and thus spread the disease. Our communities need help in our fight against HIV/AIDS," said Msweli, "particularly our youngsters."
IFP Parliamentary Caucus' Media Liaison Officer, Mr Phendulani Biyase; 073 024 5675