Minute of silence for HIV-Aids

At noon tomorrow, World Aids Day, all the people in South Africa will stop work and observe this important day.

At noon tomorrow, World Aids Day, all the people in South Africa will stop work and observe this important day.

Mark Heywood, South African National Aids Council (Sanac) deputy chairman, said: "Individuals, organisations, government departments, schools and all people will be called on to stop what they are doing so that the country can come together to focus on how to stop the epidemic, stop new infections and stop deaths."

He said: "World Aids Day 2008 will embody the collective commitment of government and society to adopt a bold and brave new approach to HIV and TB."

Heywood said the 15-minute national stoppage is an opportunity for all South Africans to think and talk about HIV and Aids. He encouraged people to hold discussions in workplaces and schools, homes and in the streets.

He said: "The day will be unprecedented and historic in the global history of Aids and will inspire people in South Africa and across the world.

"Our vision is to use this day to promote actions that will stop HIV and to start a truly national social mobilisation," he said.

lAt midday, the church bells of St George's Cathedral in Cape Town will ring to mark the start of a national minute of silence.

lAt Durban's Sahara stadium, Health Minister Barbara Hogan and Deputy President Baleka Mbete will address the nation.

Other speakers include UNaids executive director Peter Piot and King Goodwill Zwelithini.

The speeches will be covered live on SABC2 from 11.30am. There will be other events across the country.

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