18 October 2018 Volume :6 Issue :55

Addressing Sexual Reproductive Health and Rights

Addressing Sexual Reproductive Health and Rights
Highlights of the Sexual Reproductive Health and Rights Seminar.

The Student Services Division of UKZN’s HIV and AIDS Programme in partnership with the Section 27 Catalyst for Social Justice hosted a Sexual Reproductive Health and Rights seminar on the Medical School campus.

The seminar was themed: Advancing Transformation: Sexual Reproductive Health Rights for All.

Associate Scientific Director of CAPRISA Professor Quarraisha Abdool Karim delivered the keynote address in which she spoke about HIV in young women in Africa and the recent scientific advances in the fight against the disease.

Abdool Karim examined the roles genital herpes and age disparate relationships play in HIV infections. She said having genital herpes increased the chance of getting HIV/AIDS.

Executive Director of Student Services Dr Rose Laka-Mathebula underscored the importance of respecting the rights of others. She said ‘despite our extensive rights we still, in the way that we interact with others, always violate the rights of others.’

She said it was ‘mind-blowing’ that atrocities were committed and cautioned against a ‘silo mentality’ in tackling issues on campuses. 

The UKZN HIV and AIDS Programme Co-ordinator, Mx Nomonde Magantolo, emphasised the importance of advocating for primary prevention saying key role players included ‘students themselves, leadership, parents and government.’

Magantolo outlined the services available on campus, including pap smears and ARVs; and requested that anyone wanting to contribute could drop off sanitary towels at the Campus HIV and AIDS Support Unit (CHASU).

Highlights from the seminar included a session on menstrual cups by Ms Bongiwe Zulu of DREAMS; a Pre Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) study by CAPRISA researcher Dr Leila Mansoor, and a session on Gender and Sexual dynamics.

Key participants in the seminar included academics, researchers, practitioners, representatives from government departments and civil society, and students.

Words and photographs: Raylene Captain-Hasthibeer 

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