World Aids Day 2011: Working together to get to zero


The theme for the year, Getting to Zero, will run until 2015 and the UNAIDS has listed 10 goals to be achieved by 2015, and they all focus on reducing HIV transmission, AIDS-related deaths and gender-based violence towards women and girls; and increasing access to ARVs for people living with HIV, developing effective responses in countries with punitive laws that marginalise people living with HIV and establishing equal rights for all.

In line with the UNAIDS goals for 2015, the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence campaign is not only about curbing physical and emotional abuse but also about taking accountability for how we relate with one another.

Through the years there have been numerous theories on how society can help reduce HIV transmission and new infections; however the key to any priority is encouraging active citizenship.

Miller Matola, CEO of Brand South Africa, says the solution to addressing socio-economic challenges is not about placing the responsibility on the shoulders of those with money, political and business power, or with a louder voice but about every citizen being accountable to their community, family and the greater human race.

“It has been shown time and time again that we can no longer just sit on the side-lines hoping that policies, legislation and governments will decide the best course to take in addressing HIV and AIDS. We all need to adopt and develop an attitude of respect towards the rights of others – especially those who are vulnerable; and to encourage collective effort and tolerance towards those who are marginalised and victimised in our communities because they are different,” says Matola.

“HIV affects us all and we cannot continue to look away with the attitude that HIV is not our problem. It affects us all. It impacts our working and labour force, compromises our health system’s capability and cheats our industries out of skills and human resources.”

In order to meet the UNAIDS goals by 2015, to stop gender-based violence and the abuse of society’s most vulnerable and to build a healthier and prosperous world, we all need to work together to get to the point of zero: zero abuse, zero discrimination, zero new infections and zero AIDS related deaths.

How can you play your part and help your country and the world get to the point of zero?


  • Brand South Africa’s Play Your Part is a social movement to get all South Africans to actively think about and begin doing something positive; and to recognise and celebrate those who are already doing something; big or small.  It is aimed at all South Africans, including civil society, government, corporate and non-governmental organisations, etc.  It has been created by the Brand South Africa to inspire, empower and celebrate active citizenship. All South Africans have access to resources that can contribute to a better future for all including time, money, skills or goods.

For more info, visit

Brand South Africa, previously known as the International Marketing Council of South Africa, officially changed its name to best align with its mandate of building South Africa’s nation brand reputation in order to improve its global competitiveness.