Progress reports from a number of provinces received by the South African National Aids Council (Sanac) indicate that the response to HIV/Aids needs to “move into a higher and more focused gear”, deputy president David Mabuza is quoted in an IoL report as saying.
Addressing the Sanac extended plenary session in Secunda in Mpumalanga, Mabuza, who is also Sanac chair, said that earlier this year, the health department reported that just over 838,000 people tested positive for HIV for the period from January to December 2018. The highest incidence rates were recorded in Gauteng, KwaZulu-Natal, and the Eastern Cape.
“As we have said before, one HIV infection is one too many. Working with our partners in civil society and in the business community, it is possible to reverse the HIV pandemic that has affected approximately 7.4m people who are HIV-positive.
“We need to continue putting in practical and decisive measures to reduce this level of incidence, as we know how disproportionately it affects young women,” he is quoted in the report as saying.
Government wanted to use the district-based implementation model to assist in dealing with health threats at community level. The district development model was critical in the strengthening of provincial and district Aids councils. Hence the decision for the Sanac plenary to visit high-burden HIV and TB provinces and districts. This was in keeping with the aim to replicate the “Eshowe model” which had yielded significant successes within a short space of time.
One of the key problems was not being able to win the prevention battle. Therefore, the report says the message of more and more prevention had to be emphasised, particularly targeting young people, the age-group mostly affected by new infections. “It is within our grasp to reverse the HIV pandemic and conquer gender-based violence. We can, and we will, win the battle by working together with all stakeholders in our schools, in our homes, at boardrooms, and in workplaces,” Mabuza said.IoL report