Let Communities Lead – World AIDS Day 2023

Prof Mbulelo Daysi with other participants at Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital, 01 December 2023
Prof Mbulelo Daysi addressing the participants at Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital, 01 December 2023

The world can end AIDS with communities leading the way. INERELA+ South Africa (SANERELA+), an organisation of communities living with, at risk of, or affected by HIV is the frontline of progress in the HIV response. Communities connect people with person-centered public health services, build trust, innovate, monitor the implementation of policies and services, and hold providers accountable.

Funding shortages, policy and regulatory hurdles, capacity constraints, and crackdowns on civil society and the human rights of marginalised communities, are obstructing progress of HIV prevention and treatment services. If these obstacles are removed, community-led organisations like SANERELA+ can add even greater impetus to the HIV response thereby advancing progress towards the end of AIDS.

For SANERELA+ the slogan “Nothing about us without us” is central to the work that they do. On 1 December 2023 SANERELA+ led the way by joining Hands with Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital to support communities especially those living with HIV – to lead the way to ending HIV/AIDS and to celebrate World Aids Day under the theme “Let Communities Lead”. It was an opportunity to raise awareness about the challenges that remain to achieve the goals of ending AIDS by 2030 and to mobilize all stakeholders to jointly redouble efforts to ensure the success of the HIV response. 

For INERELA+, our belief is that to truly make a difference, we’ve got to put an end to HIV stigma, increase our prevention programs, and up our game in the HIV care processes. This means not only ensuring access to treatment but also providing the support necessary for individuals to achieve viral suppression.

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