Let us heed Aids dictum

WORLD Aids Day has come of age. Today marks 21 years since the United Nations decided to increase the focus on and awareness of the virus that was proving to be the greatest killer in centuries.

It was the modern-day equivalent of the plague that nearly wiped out Europe in the 14th century, killing an estimated 100-million people.

A lot pertaining to our understanding and treatment of HIV and Aids has happened in South Africa, as it has in the rest of world over the last 21 years. We have had it all.

We have moved from an age of doubt to outright denialism and back to having one of the best HIV-Aids policies in the world.

But that has been the government's report card.

The question we should all be asking ourselves is what our own personal records have been over the last decade.

We have to ask ourselves whether we have taken the best care we could to protect ourselves from contracting the dreaded virus.

Understanding that we are all either affected or infected, HIV-Aids has given us an opportunity to show those living with the illness and with the virus how much we care.

As we point fingers at the government, we should ask ourselves how much we have shown we care for our brothers, sisters, neighbours and colleagues living with the virus.

As we commemorate this occasion, let us heed this year's battle cry: "I am responsible" for myself and for all those around me who live, work and study with HIV and Aids."