US pledges $410m to help end Aids in SA

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The US has pledged $410m towards ending the Aids epidemic in South Africa, reports Business Day.

SA has the world’s largest population of people living with HIV, at 6.8m, and the funds will help expand its antiretroviral programme, which provides treatment to more than 3m patients.

The country experienced 180,000 Aids-related deaths in 2015, according to the UN Programme on HIV/AIDS (Unaids). The prevalence rate of HIV among adults, at 19%, is one of the highest in the world.

The report says the funds were donated through the US President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (Pepfar), which also supports projects in SA to encourage male circumcision and attempts to reduce new HIV infections in girls and young women.

The report says delegates are expected to discuss the Unaids’ proposed target of ending Aids as a global health crisis by 2030, at the International AIDS Conference to be held in Durban next week.

Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi said while the government expected to take on a larger share of the financial burden of HIV treatment and prevention, it depended on support from the international community. “We mustn’t say that just because we are making progress the job is done,” he said. “The job is far from done.”

According to the report, in May, Motsoaledi said SA recorded half of the 5,000 new infections a week among young women from 14 southern and eastern African countries.

Full Business Day report

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