Tag Archives: HIV test

MEC encourages youth to get tested for HIV AIDS

Gauteng Health and Social Development MEC Qedani Mahlangu has encouraged the youth to get tested for HIV and AID.

“Go to your nearest health facility, seek pre-counseling, test and get your results. Knowing your status especially if you are positive, will help you get the right treatment and necessary support which will prolong your life,” said Mahlangu.

She was speaking at the official launch of an HIV and AIDS expo, at the Mary Fitzgerald Square in Newtown, on the eve of World AIDS Day.

Mahlangu also committed to making available more female condoms and also to educate women on how to use them.

The three-day expo which will end on Wednesday aims to encourage the spirit of a caring community. This will be done through reinforcing the spirit of ubuntu.

The expo will not only showcase the work done by civil society, the public and private sectors but it will also encourage dialogue as well as voluntary counseling and testing.

On Tuesday, President Jacob Zuma is expected to address South Africans from all walks of life at an event to be held at the Pretoria Show Grounds to commemorate World AIDS Day today.

Under the theme “I am responsible, We are responsible, South Africa is taking responsibility”, this year’s World AIDS Day heralds a new era in the country’s collective effort in the response to HIV and AIDS.

The theme encourages everyone in South Africa from individuals, communities, businesses and government to take personal and collective responsibility to stop new HIV infections, provide care and support to those living with HIV and to ensure access to treatment for all people in need.

The day’s activities are intended to bring the country together to revitalise the fight against AIDS and take the campaign to higher levels.

Source: BuaNews, gauteng.net

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SA govt to encourage leaders to go for HIV testing

In a bid to raise awareness around HIV and AIDS, the Health Department plans to encourage South African leaders in various fields to undergo HIV tests in a hope that others will lead by example.

This is according to Minister of Health Aaron Motsoaledi, who presented shocking statistics to the media on Tuesday on the effects of the pandemic.

His presentation followed President Jacob Zuma’s address last month to the National Council of Provinces where he emphasised the need to move with urgency to tackle HIV and AIDS.

Motsoaledi said his department would approach sports, business, entertainment and religious leaders to undergo testing, adding that both the President and the Cabinet had agreed that having a strategy of leading by example was the best way forward.

He believed it was possible to reverse the rate of infections and highlighted the case of the Western Cape which had seen a reduction in the number of early childhood deaths after introducing dual therapy in 2003.

“I still believe South Africans can unite and stand together against this disease,” he said, adding that prevention remained the key focus for government in its fight against the pandemic.

To this end, government was distributing 400 million condoms a year, but this would be massively increased for the 2010 FIFA World Cup, he said.

About one percent of South Africans had Tuberculosis (TB), said Motsoaledi, who pointed out that because 73 percent of those that had the disease were also HIV positive, government was looking at treating HIV and AIDS and TB in the same centre.

The government was also looking at the possibility of procuring more affordable anti-retroviral medicines to treat those infected, he said.

Added to this, the Health Department received an additional R900 million for the HIV and AIDS treatment programme by the Minister of Finance Pravin Gordhan in his medium-term budget.

Statistics presented by Motsoaledi revealed among other things that 40 of the country’s 52 district municipalities had average antenatal prevalence rates of over 20 percent, with four district municipalities recording rates of over 40 percent.

The worst affected district municipality is uMgungundlovu in KwaZulu-Natal with an average antenatal prevalence rate of 45.7 percent, with Gert Sibanda the worst affected in Mpumalanga with a rate of 40.5 percent.

Motsoaledi said Mpumalanga and KwaZulu-Natal had the highest average antenatal prevalence rates in women, while the Western Cape, followed by the Northern Cape, had the lowest rate.

A graph presented by Motsoaledi showed how in recent years a massive peak had developed such that by far the majority of deaths now occurred among those aged 25 to 40.

“In any species, death is not supposed to be occurring at the prime of our lives, but it is,” he said.  Just 0.7 percent of the world’s population resided in South Africa, but the country represented 17 percent of all HIV and AIDS cases, or 23 times the global average, he said.

Source: BuaNews, info.gov.za

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