HIV/Aids

Updated 01 December 2016

SA home to largest concentration of people living with HIV - MEC

KwaZulu-Natal Health MEC Sibongiseni Dhlomo, speaking at a World Aids Day event in Newcastle, told the gathering that, globally, South Africa was home to the largest concentration of people living with HIV.

0

KwaZulu-Natal Health MEC Sibongiseni Dhlomo on Thursday reminded thousands of people that HIV/Aids was no longer a death sentence.

Large percentage of global burden

Dhlomo who was speaking at a World Aids Day event in Newcastle told the gathering that South Africa was home to the largest concentration of people living with HIV in the whole world.

There are 7 104 796 million people, aged between 14 and 49, living with HIV.

This represented 19% of the global HIV burden, Dhlomo said.

Read: Fund launched to seek cures for African diseases

Of this, 1 622 870 million people are found in KwaZulu Natal.

Dhlomo used the platform to highlight the dangers of "blessers" to adolescent girls and young women.

Voluntary counselling and testing

“We also utilise this day to inform the public that TB is curable even if you are HIV positive. We need the support of all citizens as we have embarked on a deliberate effort to scale up HIV testing services and strengthen quality at all health facilities in line with the ambitious targets of HIV elimination by 2030.”

He said prevention of mother to child transmission [PMTCT] in the province had been reduced to 1.2% while the number was 1,5% countrywide.

The number of circumcisions had increased.

Read: Landmark HIV vaccine trial launched in SA

“We have circumcised more than 750 000 men and boys without a single loss of life since 2010.”

Dhlomo said more citizens were coming forward for voluntary counselling and testing.

“To date, more than 1,3 million people have been initiated on lifelong antiretroviral therapy in this province alone whilst the national tally is 3,4 million on treatment. This in its own means that our people are now healthier and living longer.”

He said in Amajuba, the department was not reaching its target in terms of male circumcision.

“Let us remember that to be HIV positive in recent past was taken as a death sentence… it is increasingly seen and accepted as a treatable and manageable condition,” said Dhlomo.

Read more:

What it's like to be accidentally exposed to HIV

How close are we to a world without Aids?

Death rate halved, but HIV remains SA's biggest killer

News24

 

Ask the Expert

HIV/Aids expert

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.

Still have a question?

Get free advice from our panel of experts

The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical exmanication, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.

* You must accept our condition

Forum Rules