President Jacob Zuma has unveiled the brand new National Strategic Plan (NSP) for HIV and Aids 2012 – 2016, which experts claim promises to do a great deal more to tackle TB and concerns of violence against women.
The NSP proposes to take care of HIV, sexually transmitted infections along with tuberculosis by implementing a holistic approach consisting of preventative and therapeutic steps.
It is able to combine five succinct goals and four aims, whose consolidated objective is to quash new HIV infections.
The five goals are:
- Decrease new HIV infections by a minimum of 50% simply by using a mixture of prevention strategies;
- Initiate at the very least 80% of suitable patients on antiretroviral treatment with 70% living and on treatment five years after initiation;
- Decrease the volume of new TB infections in addition to deaths from TB by 50%;
- Make sure that there is an empowering and accessible legal framework which will safeguard and boost human rights in an effort to support the implementation of the NSP, and
- Decrease self-reported stigma related to HIV and TB by at least 50%.
The NSP is further strengthened by its four goals, which are:
- Deal with social and structural barriers to HIV, STI and TB prevention, care and impact;
- Prevent new HIV, STI and TB infections;
- Sustain health and wellness, and
- Increase the protection of human rights and improve access to justice.
Launching the master plan at the Wolfson Stadium in KwaZakhele, Zuma pointed out the fact that the country had also adopted the ‘three zeros’ endorsed at the United Nations high level meeting in New York this June as a vision for the next 20 years.
“In addition, we incorporated as a country, a fourth zero, which intends to eliminate HIV transmission from mother to child.
“The four zeros are ‘zero new HIV and TB infection; zero new infections as a result of mother to child transmission; zero preventable deaths associated with HIV and TB, and zero discrimination associated with HIV and TB,” Zuma spelled out.
The President was satisfied of the fact that the issue of violence against women was reflected in the new NSP.
Recently available research in South Africa indicated that the country could quite possibly avoid HIV infections in young women as long as they were not afflicted by violence or intimidation by their partners.
“Government is prioritising the fight against the abuse of women and children by way of law enforcement along with education and awareness.
“All of us also need to greatly enhance our socio-economic interventions to cope with poverty, unemployment, food insecurity and inequality… these either give rise to the spread of HIV or worsen the impact of the epidemic,” said Zuma.
The new plan is going to be executed in the coming year in April.
Eastern Cape Premier Noxolo Kiviet pointed out for the process to work, absolutely everyone needed to get on board.
“Let’s make certain that these endeavours within the NSP don’t go to waste but take us forward… We hope that the information shared today will make a difference to the youth and allow us to achieve the triple zeros accordingly,” said Kiviet.
Welcoming the unveiling of the new plan, Prudence Mabela, who has been living with HIV for 22 years, stated that everyone had to walk the talk when it came to implementing the plan.
She encouraged other infected people to take treatment and individuals who have not tested to go find out their status.
“You can trust the public hospitals, I am making use of them and they are helping… Together with the treatment you can live longer. I’ve taken TB treatment for six months and it’s effective, including the ARVs,” said Mabela.