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Cape Town - South Africa wants to cut new HIV infection rates by at least 50 percent within five years as it seeks to build on recent successes following years of failing to tackle Aids and increased mortality, President Jacob Zuma said on Thursday.
Former president Thabo Mbeki was widely criticised for failing to take the Aids epidemic seriously, leaving South Africa with one of one of the world's biggest HIV-positive populations.
But the country has since made strides in tackling the pandemic, with a 50-percent reduction in the transmission of HIV from mothers to children seen between 2008 and 2010 due to greater access to life-saving antiretroviral drugs.
More than 13-million people were tested for the virus since April last year in a rigorous status awareness campaign.
“Indeed, we have achieved a lot in the fight against HIV and Aids as South Africans, and also globally,” Zuma said in a World Aids Day speech, before launching the country's second Aids masterplan to run from 2012 to 2016.
The National Strategic Plan aims, among other goals, to reducing new HIV infections by at least a half, slash the number of tuberculosis infections and related deaths by a similar margin and have at least 80 percent of eligible patients on antiretroviral treatment.
“We cannot afford to deal with HIV and TB separately,” Zuma said, adding the new emphasis, missing in the first programme, was necessary given the high rate of co-infection between the two diseases.
The new plan also identifies sexual violence and intimidation against women as a key factor in the spread of HIV and Aids.
“Recent research in South Africa shows that we could prevent HIV infections in young women if they were not subjected to violence or intimidation by their partners,” Zuma said. - Reuters
julian , wrote
What ? a new AIDS strategy? What happened to taking a shower afterwards and eating beetroot and potato ? Glad that they have found their senses and are getting serious about it (i hope)
Niall Jack, wrote
Does he want the public to shower him with praise!
Easy just ban sex - like reducing the speed limit will save taxi deaths and toll roads are for our benefit,
yeh yeh, wrote
Along with the million jobs he was going to create last year..no problem..Best get that plane order in quick before all the monies spent on ARV's
From the mouth of the man who had unprotected sex with a HIV positive woman. And he knew it. The mind boggles.
Straight Shoooter, wrote
The master plan is to issue everyone with free Lifebouy soap!
ARVs are only the first step. No natural birth and no breast feeding either if you want to protect baby from HIV. Can we believe the government stats? They have lied about so many other matters that were much less important.
Blah blah...Zuma this, Zuma that....the guy's a total idiot and just makes his mouth move for the sake of trying to look like he's working and doing something. No one gives a rat's ass about what he says. He's a criminal just like Cele, Selebi, Malema, etc. They're all the same. The time has come to overthrow this trash once and for all.
What would the plan be?...that people should be wearing showers on their heads?
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