As one approaches December, and with it a day that in the past signified a flurry of TV interviews , lots of media coverage, key note speakers,  training, extensive blogs all which centred around 'waking' the world up today: World Aids Day.

Internationally there would be yearly themes that we celebrated like "Getting to Zero" in 2015, and "Leadership. Commitment. Impact" in 2016.

We have come such a long way...

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Leave our girls alone. - The clitoris- an overview.

The Huffington Post last month posted a gutsy and relevant article titled 3D Clitoris model . As the titled implies, it discusses a part of female anatomy that is widely misunderstood, often not even known about and a part of our bodies that in some cultures is forcibly removed.  The non medical removal of this organ is called FGM (female genital mutilation) and is banned in most countries in the world, although it clearly is still done in many cultures, albeit it, underground. The medical removal of the clitoris is called a Clitoridectomy or clitorectomy and means the surgical removal, reduction, or partial removal of the clitoris for medical reasons. One such case is of a child who is born with both male and female sex organs. A decision will be reached by the parents as to whether the child is female or male. Often the clitoris is removed and the intersex child will be physically seen as male.

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Short, sharp and effective.

Here  is an article from a magazine, MOVE! on 26 October 2016. The magazine consulted with Jane Simmonds, a public health consultant, about condoms and condomising. What this article shows is that when trying to get a message across, you don¹t have to be complicated or seen as an "author" writing a beautiful piece. Often, short sharp messaging is far more efficient and straight to the point.

See Move and Jane¹s messaging around condom use-short, sharp, to the Point and efficient. It works trust me!


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Going back to Graduation 30 years later .....

I finished my Honours degree in Psychology in 1984 and graduated at the Wits Great Hall the following year.

I returned for another graduation ceremony 30 odd years later and, even though the hall and the campus felt so much smaller, the ceremony and the excitement of the graduates was palpable. I was reduced to tears as I was caught up in that exact moment – of completing 4, 5, 6 or even 7 years of hard study to finally get the certificate that makes all that hard work pay off.

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Is culture a reason or an excuse to not talk about sex?

So a friend of mine, Jane Simmonds, has just left the PHASA 2016 conference (Public Health Association of South Africa) and I am thinking about a question that that she told me she was asked relating to the presentation she gave at the conference. She presented her findings on how to facilitate communication about sex, sexuality and HIV and AIDS between grandmothers and the grandchildren in their care. The question she was asked was “ But what about culture? Doesn’t culture stop us speaking to children about sex?” This was the response she gave…

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The Danish girl

I had the privilege of having a whole Sunday last week where I had time to do whatever I wanted. I chose to watch a box office movie called The Danish Girl.
It as based on a real story (although it clearly has been embellished) of a married couple, Einar and Gerda and their journey in finding Einar's true sexual identity.
They are both young artists, living in Denmark in the 1920s and as the movies opens, portrays them as a sexually compatible and happy couple. Their world changes as Gerda asks Einar, as a favour, to act as her model and dress up in ballet dancer's  clothing. This is Einar's epiphany - he realizes who he really is ( a women hiding in his male body) and realizes that the world, as he knows it, will fundamentally change.

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Author, restaurateur, humanitarian, mother... superwoman -

Marina Appelbaum - Article from

 Aug 15 2016 07:30   Lameez Omarjee

Johannesburg – Marina Appelbaum grew up with a strong work ethic instilled by her mother. From serving in the family restaurant, Appelbaum went on to own her own coffee shop in the 90s. But this businesswoman is mostly known for her work on education of HIV/AIDS prevention.

Fin24 caught up with Appelbaum, after her husband Robert, a partner at Webber Wentzel, made us aware of her accomplishments. The mother of three is a “superb chef and home maker”, who co-owns two Rocomamas restaurants. She also lectures on HIV/AIDS at the Medical University of South Africa (Medunsa) and she sits on the board for the Orange Babies HIV charity organisation, among other things.

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The battle fought and won...

When Thabo Mbeki refused to acknowledge that HIV was the virus that led to AIDS and as a result chose not to follow global trends of administering a single shot of Nevirapine to HIV pregnant mothers in delivery, the Legendary TAC took the government on - and took them to court. This really was a story of David versus Goliath.
But we must start at the beginning.......

In the 90s, it was confirmed that HIV was transmitted from mother to child (MTCT) during pregnancy (low risk), natural delivery in labour (high risk), and breast feeding (low risk).
In fact, 70 000 children were getting the virus from their infected mother through the process of natural delivery.

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