Pretoria – Government calls on members of the public, civil society, faith-based organisations, business and all sectors to join the five days countdown to the 21st International AIDS Conference to be held in Durban, says the Government Communication and Information System (GCIS).
The department said the countdown commemoration will be on Wednesday.
“The 21st International AIDS Conference, commonly known as AIDS2016, will be held from 18 to 22 July 2016 at the Albert Luthuli International Convention Centre in Durban under the theme ‘Access Equity Rights – Now’,” said the department.
It said more than 18 000 delegates comprising the world’s top scientists, civil society members and policymakers from 180 countries are expected to converge to discuss the fight against HIV and AIDS.
“All citizens are invited to wear black, white and red clothing, the official colours of the #AIDS2016 conference, and gather as groups from 12:00 – 12:30.
“The public is requested to do symbolic acts of lighting candles, observing prayer moments, or releasing red/white/black balloons at exactly 12:15 to remember those affected or living with HIV/AIDS,” said the department.
The department said the colour red symbolises awareness and support for those living with HIV and AIDS, and white symbolises a beacon of hope in the fight against HIV and AIDS, while black symbolises a symbol of honour and remembrance for all those who passed on due to the pandemic.
“Government also calls on motorists who will be on the roads at 12h15 to support the campaign by hooting for 5 minutes as a sign of support,” said the department.
GCIS Deputy Director General Nebo Legoabe said organisations are requested to also display HIV-related educational information and provide services at various strategic points of their choice around the country.
“HIV/AIDS affects us all and as a country we have come a long way in fighting this pandemic and the struggle continues. It is in our hands as citizens of this country to have an AIDS free generation,” she said.