Zuma, Gates discuss HIV/Aids

2009-12-03 09:38

President Jacob Zuma has met with American businessman Bill Gates

to discuss issues relating to South Africa’s HIV/Aids pandemic, the presidency

said.

In talks held at the Union Buildings in Pretoria yesterday, the two

men discussed the need to scale up the prevention of HIV/Aids, the importance of

the prevention of Mother to Child Transmission of the virus as well as the need

to look at male circumcision as a means of prevention, said spokesperson Vincent

Magwenya.

On the issue of circumcision as a preventative measure, Zuma

indicated that the matter was being looked into but that it needed to be

communicated carefully to avoid giving an impression that circumcised males were

immune to HIV.

“Mr Gates briefed the president about Pre-exposure Prophylaxis, a

new initiative which proposes to test everyone and start all those that are

positive on ARVs regardless of CD4 count,’ said Magwenya.

“Other matters included strengthening the management of HIV

programmes, especially the use of global funds, introducing business approaches

to HIV prevention programmes as the Gates Foundation runs such programmes in

India at present for example.”

Gates later met with Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe, in his

capacity as chairperson of the SA National Aids Council to discuss more

specifically matters related to the country’s HIV and Aids programme.


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