South Africa has come a long way in the fight against HIV and AIDS. HIV and AIDS has claimed the lives of many teachers. Through the PTCA programme, NAPTOSA teachers became directly involved in the fight against HIV and AIDS. NAPTOSA has successfully contributed towards reducing the stigma and discrimination associated with HIV and AIDS. The PTCA project came to an end in 2012, but the fight against HIV and AIDS continues.
Teachers and learners are equally burdened by the stigma and discrimination associated with HIV and AIDS. One in every five teenage pregnant girls is infected with HIV. These learners are often faced with discrimination. Some of these learners end up dropping out of school unable to deal with the double impact of HIV and stigmatisation.
The South African National AIDS Council (SANAC), a body that provides strategic direction to the country on HIV, developed the National Strategic Plan (NSP) on HIV, Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs) and Tuberculosis (TB), 2012 -2016. The NSP is built on the vision to achieve:
-Zero new HIV and TB infections
-Zero new HIV infections due to vertical transmission (mother to child)
-Zero preventable deaths from HIV and TB; and
-Zero discrimination associated with HIV, STIs and TB.
The call is to support national efforts towards prevention of HIV, TB, teenage pregnancy, stigma and discrimination within the Department and to encourage schools to participate in the activities focusing on HIV-based programmes. You are called upon to support the implementation of the Care and Support Programmes in schools.
NAPTOSA calls on PTCA trained teachers to extend their knowledge and training to these learners. Let us support and educate not only our colleagues but include learners in discussions and programmes directed towards dealing HIV and AIDS.
NAPTOSA calls on teachers to advocate “zero stigma” and “zero discrimination” towards colleagues and learners who are infected with HIV and TB.