News24

Govt must 'intensify Aids fight'

2009-11-06 13:04

Johannesburg - The fight against HIV/Aids needs to be intensified, Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi said on Friday.

"Reports from the Lancet Medical Journal says South Africa forms 0.7% of the global population, yet carries 17% of the HIV burden, he said.

"We need to come out with guns blazing fight this scourge."

Motsoaledi was addressing a conference in Midrand on living with HIV/Aids.

The focus of the conference included multiple aspects of living with HIV/Aids, including social and personal challenges.

Zuma to lead Aids Day commemorations

Motsoaledi assured delegates that the government, including President Jacob Zuma, was committed to supporting HIV/Aids campaigns in its continued struggle against the virus.

"A war is still going to be won. We'll only win when we stand together as government... as civil society. We need to undertake a massive campaign of voluntary counselling and testing," he said.

He said Zuma would play a pivotal role in the upcoming Aids Day on December 1.

"For the first time, it will be led by the president of this country. I will make sure he doesn't go anywhere or [is] committed to anything that day," said Motsoaledi.

He would outline infection rate statistics and the effects the virus has had on the country during a briefing next week.

Other speakers at the conference were South African National Aids Council chief executive officer Dr Nono Simelela, Constitutional Court Judge Edwin Cameron and Dr Mary Fanning, the Health Attaché for the United States Embassy.

SAPA