Dignitaries such as Chief Ndileni Nemafukani from Mafukani village and Chief Edzisani Nemufulwi from Mufulwi village also attended the event along with nursing staff from the clinic.

The community has been severely affected by HIV/AIDS ‘€“ many children in the community have been orphaned by the disease, forcing them to live with extended families.

The clinic commended the community for their support in the fight against HIV/AIDS. “We are very grateful for the support from all the Chiefs and their people, because it is very important that we stand together in the fight against HIV/AIDS here in our community,’€ said Caroline Xihundla, a representative from the Matavhela Clinic.

She advised the community to continue telling their family members about HIV, and to encourage them to get tested. She also emphasised the importance of taking antiretroviral treatment (ARVs) according to health care staff’€™s instructions.

Community members expressed their confidence in turning the tide of HIV in their villages.  

“I think it is going to work very well because by sticking together we can make a huge difference in the statistic here in our community when it comes to HIV/AIDS,’€ said Mashudu Mudau, a patient from Matavhela Clinic. ‘€œI thank the clinic staff for advising us to stand together as a community to fight HIV/AIDS”.

The Chiefs were asked to go back to their villages and continue advising their communities to stand together as united family (community and the clinic) to reduce the rate of HIV/AIDS.

* Story by Surprise Nemalale, OurHealth Citizen Journalist reporting from the Vhembe district in Limpopo.