01 September 2010

9/10 Gauteng births are HIV-free

Nine out of 10 children born to HIV-positive mothers in Gauteng do not have HIV, the provincial health department said.


Nine out of 10 children born to HIV-positive mothers in Gauteng do not have HIV, the provincial health department said.

"The prevention of mother-to-child-transmission programme has achieved a reduction in the percentage of children who are HIV infected," Gauteng health and social development MEC Qedani Mahlangu said.

"In 2008 the rate [of mother to child transmissions] ranged from 8% to 10.6%, and this was reduced to a rate of 5.1% to 7.2% in 2009. This means that nine out of 10 children born to HIV-positive mother do not have HIV."

From April this year HIV-positive pregnant mothers qualified to be on the programme at 14 weeks of pregnancy, instead of 28 weeks, and all women with a CD4 count of 350 or less, or with Aids-defining symptoms, qualified for antiretroviral therapy.

Over 17,000 people in a HIV/Aids program

"An additional 17,508 people were enrolled in the antiretroviral component of our comprehensive HIV and Aids treatment and care program in the first quarter of this financial year."

The department aimed to reduce new HIV infections by 50% by 2011.

In April the department launched an HIV counselling and testing campaign and had tested 502,882 people since then.

It aimed to reach 1.5 million people and in the coming months would take the campaign to hostels, public transport hubs and shopping malls. (Sapa, September 2010)

Read more:

HIV tests used in babies and young children

Children affected by HIV


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Dr Sindisiwe van Zyl qualified at the University of Pretoria before working for an HIV/AIDS NPO in Soweto for many years. She was named one of the Mail & Guardian's Top 200 Young South Africans in 2012.

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