The minister said
discrimination and stigmatisation continued to stand as a barrier in the fight
"Stigma harms, it
silences communities and individuals... and increases their vulnerability,"
she told the packed Absa Stadium.
said the HIV/Aids stigma isolated people living with the disease and deprived
them of care and support.
She called on South
Africans to break down the barrier, saying the country had a responsibility to
create an environment that would enable people living with the HIV/Aids to be
open about their status.
"And when they do
so, we should treat those living with the disease with compassion," she
The candle was an
expression of support and hope those living with HIV/Aids. Musicians like Mdu
Masilela, Sylvia Mdunyelwa and Jabu Khanyile entertained the crowd at the
Tshabalala-Msimang, together with the other senior government officials, joined
the singers on stage to dance.
She received food
parcels from Pick 'n Pay which were collected as part of the "I care enough
to help, do you?", campaign.
Two of the
government's "Khomanani campaigns" - the circles of support campaign
and the youth campaign - have formed a major part of the national programme.
The youth campaign
directly targets children by promoting safer sex and encouraging them to delay
sex by at least a few years.
The circles of support campaign was formed to improve care and support, reduce stigmatisation and increase community support for orphans and vulnerable children affected by the pandemic.