KZN turns the tide in HIV battle

2011-08-11 00:00

KWAZULU-NATAL is turning the tide in the fight against HIV and Aids. The transmission of HIV from mothers to their newborn babies has dropped from 22% in 2005 to 2,8% in 2010.

This was announced yesterday by Premier Dr Zweli Mkhize who is also chairperson of the KZN Council on Aids. HIV and Aids prevalence in the province is the highest in the country at 39,5%.

Great strides have been made in voluntary testing, however, with just under three million people tested. Mkhize said this was 95% of the target set to be reached by June last year. He called on residents to get tested to know their status, saying that makes it easy for intervention to start early.

“We are grateful for this success, and we encourage everyone – in government and the community – to ensure that no child in our province is born with HIV and no child gets infected at a later stage,” said Dr Mkhize.Mkhize

He also warned against sugar-daddies — older men who are infecting young girls.

A report was tabled on the progress made on the male medical circumcision programme, which was implemented in the province after a call made by King Goodwill Zwelithini for the revival of the age-old practice, as a means of reducing the spread of HIV.

More than 54 680 men have been circumcised using the Tara Klamp, and none has had any serious adverse effects, the report states. On concerns raised in recent reports about the recycling of foreskins, Dr Mkhize said, “There is no human tissue used for cosmetics or anything else after removal from the client.”

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