More than 1 200 QuadPara Association of South Africa (QASA) Peer Supporters gathered at various World Aids Day activities across the country during November and December in a campaign to promote the inclusion of disabled persons in HIV and Aids programmes.
QASA developed promotional slogan-writing material (World Aids Day for me is...) specifically to address issues relating to persons with disabilities.
The campaign, which began on November 29 and concluded on December 3, represented the first involvement of disabled persons in World Aids Day activities on such a large scale.
QASA's Rolling Positive Peer Supporters held up signs that read "World Aids Day for me is ..." completed with each individual's interpretation of what the day meant to them.
A 2008 survey reported HIV prevalence among persons with disabilities at about 14% and a 2009 Human Sciences Research Council study revealed that various HIV/Aids programmes only reached between 40.1% and 54.6% of males and females with disability.
Many persons with disabilities are living with HIV and remain one of the most vulnerable groups to HIV infection due to a number of reasons, including lack of information and education. QASA's Rolling Positive programme offers a robust lifestyle programme aimed at greater participation by persons with disabilities in HIV and Aids educational programmes and increasing public awareness of disability issues.
As part of these efforts, the QASA World Aids Day activities helped to draw the attention of policy makers to the HIV epidemic and the importance of the involvement of persons with disabilities in reducing new HIV infections. By capturing the energy and commitment of persons with disabilities we are sure the "World Aids Day for me is ..." slogan initiative has contributed to making World Aids Day 2012 another diary highlight for persons with disabilities and their loved ones.
The success of these 2012 World Aids Day activities and the active participants of Rolling Positive Peer Supporters are further proof of the willingness and commitment of persons with disabilities to be included in larges scale sexual reproductive health and HIV/AIDS awareness drives.