Former president Nelson Mandela made a powerful statement against the stigma affecting people with HIV and Aids, the Treatment Action Campaign (TAC) said on Friday.
“In exactly one week it will be 11 years since Madiba pulled a white T-shirt with the iconic words 'HIV Positive' in purple over his head,” the TAC said in a statement.
“In that moment he became one of us and made a powerful statement against stigma, at the same time sending a message to the then denialist government that people living with HIV are part of this country and should be given lifesaving treatment.”
The organisation said it would hold the image of a smiling, waving Mandela close to its heart.
It thanked the late icon for what he did for the HIV movement.
“Rest in peace Tata, today the TAC will again wear our T-shirts with pride, but also with a heavy heart.”
President Jacob Zuma announced that Mandela died on Thursday night at his home in Houghton, Johannesburg, surrounded by family. He was 95. - Sapa