HIV/Aids

01 December 2011

Zuma to launch new HIV/Aids plan

President Jacob Zuma will launch the new national strategic plan to fight HIV at a national World Aids Day event in Port Elizabeth on 1 December 2011.

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President Jacob Zuma will launch the new national strategic plan to fight HIV at a national World Aids Day event in Port Elizabeth on 1 December 2011.

Zuma, Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe, who chairs the SA National Aids Council (Sanac), and Eastern Cape premier Noxolo Kiviet will mark the 23rd commemoration of World Aids Day at the Wolfson stadium.

Cabinet ministers and members of Sanac will also attend.

Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi released the national antenatal sentinel HIV and syphilis prevalence survey eight months later than expected.

He said HIV-prevalence among pregnant women in the country had increased from 29.4% to 30.2%.

Spike in infection rates

There was a high degree of stabilisation in the percentage increase of pregnant women between ages 16 to 24 who were infected. However there had been an upward spike between the ages of 24 and 39.

Motsoaledi said prevention methods addressed at the youth as reasons why the numbers had stayed within the "confidence interval".

He attributed the high HIV prevalence in the older category to a lack of antiretrovirals (ARVs) and counselling.

According to the survey, KwaZulu-Natal still had the highest prevalence of HIV-infected pregnant women, while the Northern and Western Cape were the lowest.

Motsoaledi said the government would continue to increase its ARV rollout and HIV/Aids prevention strategies.

(Sapa, December 2011)

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Dr Sindisiwe van Zyl qualified at the University of Pretoria in 2005. She is a patients' rights activist and loves using social media to teach about HIV. She is in private practice in Johannesburg.

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