19 March 2015 Volume :3 Issue :8

UKZN Raises Awareness on International Women and Girls’ Day

UKZN Raises Awareness on International Women and Girls’ Day
Students at UKZN Howard College taking selfies to raise awareness on International Women’s Day.

UKZN’s HIV and AIDS programme in partnership with AIDS Healthcare Foundation South Africa hosted an HIV Counselling and testing event - First Things First - in honour of International Women and Girls’ Day on the Howard College campus.

Howard College Health Promoter, Ms Noxolo Batembu, said the event themed, #GirlsLivesMatter, promoted regular HIV testing, consistent condom use and renewed focus on fighting gender inequality. 

Policy and Advocacy Manager at the AIDS Healthcare Foundation South Africa, Ms Larissa Klazinga, said young women were disproportionately affected in Africa and globally. ‘They carry a much higher disease burden than men and boys of the same age.’

She said the aim was to access “change makers’ at universities as students were viewed as role models and ambassadors for high school pupils.

Students were asked to take selfies and share them online. A “selfie board” was available, with speech bubbles including: “I talk to my friends about sexual health” and “Condoms are cool”!

Masters student Mr Sabelo Mkhize encouraged students to ‘abstain or use protection’, while Ms Khanyisile Kubheka, a fourth-year Social Work student and Peer Educator, agreed with Mkhize saying: ‘Abstinence is key. But, if you are sexually active, use a condom!’

Raylene Captain-Hasthibeer

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