South Africa: VP Ramaphosa salutes 12-year-old AIDS victim

Cape Town, South Africa (PANA) – South Africa's Deputy President, Cyril Ramaphosa, on Wednesday saluted AIDS victim, Nkosi Johnson, whose fight against the disease touched the hearts of millions of people around the world.

At the time of this death in 2001, the 12-year-old was the longest-surviving HIV-positive born child in Soutrh Africa.

Ramaphosa visited Nkosi’s Haven in Johannesburg as part of government’s preparations for the International Aids Conference‚ which will be held in Durban next week. More than 12,000 delegates from 180 countries are expected to attend the five-day event.

The haven was established in Johnson’s memory to provide a safe and nurturing home environment for mothers‚ children and orphans left destitute by HIV/Aids.

"We came here to pay tribute to him. He was truly a courageous young man. Because of him 3.4 million people are on ARV (antiretroviral) treatment‚" Ramaphosa said.

Johnson was the keynote speaker at the 13th International AIDS Conference in Durban where he encouraged people with HIV/AIDS to be open about the disease and to seek equal treatment.

"Care for us and accept us - we are all human beings. We are normal. We have hands. We have feet. We can walk, we can talk, we have needs just like everyone else - don't be afraid of us - we are all the same,” he said.

Nelson Mandela referred to Johnson as an "icon of the struggle for life" and he posthumously received the International Children's Peace Prize from Mikhail Gorbachev.
-0- PANA CU/VAO 13July2016

13 juillet 2016 14:01:04

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