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Covid has stolen the headlines but we must not forget the 'other pandemic', says Aids foundation

Picture: Stephane Mahe / Reuters

Picture: Stephane Mahe / Reuters

Published Dec 1, 2020


Durban - South Africa's Covid-19 caseload has increased to 792 299 with 2 295 new cases reported in the last 24 hours. Health Minister, Dr Zweli Mkhize, said 109 new Covid-19-related deaths had been reported.

"This brings the total number of deaths to 21 644," he said.

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Meanwhile, the Aids Healthcare Foundation's Terri Ford has urged communities to continue the fight against the HIV/Aids pandemic.

Ford said HIV/Aids pandemic remains a global public health crisis.

"Covid-19 has justifiably stolen the headlines, but we must not forget the pandemic that has been raging for more than three decades and still affects millions of people globally. It’s absolutely vital that world leaders also keep their attention on HIV this World AIDS Day and beyond," Ford said.

According to the most recent UNAIDS statistics, 38 million people are living with HIV/Aids around the world, and in 2019 alone, 1.7 million people became newly infected with HIV and 690,000 died from AIDS-related illnesses. While millions of people today are accessing lifesaving antiretroviral therapy, millions more still desperately need it.

AHF Africa Bureau Chief, Dr Penninah Iutung, said even though there have been great strides made against the fight of HIV/Aids, there is still a long way to go.

"It is simply unacceptable that people living with HIV in many parts of the world still struggle to get free or affordable testing and antiretroviral therapy. Even condoms are difficult to come by in many countries, though they are the most effective way to stop HIV transmission and extremely cost effective. As there is still no HIV vaccine on the horizon, guaranteeing prevention and treatment for all is the only way we’ll bring the virus under control," Iutung said.

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