TAC urges Zuma to lead fight on Aids

2010-02-24 12:53

THE Treatment Action Campaign (TAC) has urged President Jacob Zuma

to take leadership and responsibility for himself, those around him, and South

Africa in fighting HIV/Aids.


Zuma’s leadership on Aids needed some constructive scrutiny, the

TAC said in its latest newsletter.


“We do not want to impose moral judgements on people, especially on

their private matters,” the Aids activist organisation said.


Many of the responses to Zuma’s actions had been “hysterical and

self-righteous”.


“But the president is not just any person. People look to him to

set an example.


“In a country without a serious HIV epidemic, it might be arguable

that his extra-marital affairs are for him and his family alone to resolve,” the

TAC said.


But South Africa had the world’s largest HIV epidemic.


The president held the highest office in South Africa and therefore

there were high expectations of him, as a leader, as an elder, and as a role

model.


“We come from an era of denialism and lack of leadership on

Aids.


“The new administration, in particular the president, chairperson

of the South Africa National Aids Council (Sanac) Deputy President Kgalema

Motlanthe and the ministry of health under the leadership of Dr [Aaron]

Motsaoledi, have expressed their commitment to turning the tide on

HIV/Aids.


“It is imperative that all leaders speak and act as a unit. Last

year Sanac agreed on one message for Aids in South Africa.


“The theme for World Aids Day 2009 was ‘I am responsible, We are

responsible, South Africa is taking responsibility’.”


This message signified the start of a new era on how South Africa,

under Zuma’s leadership, was going to tackle the epidemic.


It was also chosen, among other reasons, to prevent HIV

transmission that occurred through multiple concurrent sexual relations.


The message encouraged individuals to reduce their number of sexual

partners, for men and women to take responsibility by protecting themselves and

others and to encourage consistent and correct condom usage.


The reality was that South Africa faced an extremely high HIV

prevalence among young women – almost one in three who attended ante-natal

clinics lived with HIV.


Women’s vulnerability to HIV manifested from their power status in

their relationships and this exposed them to HIV transmission.


Multiple concurrent partnerships increased the possibilities of HIV

transmission. This was made even worse when condoms were not used.


It was important to acknowledge that it was not by coincidence that

most women who lived with HIV were young and probably got infected from older

men.


“But the president’s recent actions undermined all who are really

trying to meet the prevention target of reducing HIV transmission by 50%.”


The TAC urged Zuma to take leadership and responsibility for

himself, for those around him, and for South Africa.


“The message of responsibility agreed upon by civil society and

government applies to all, including the highest leaders.


“South Africa must take responsibility and it starts with all of as

individuals,” the TAC said.

 

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

 
/News

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.