TAC supports new HIV plan
Johannesburg - Aids lobby group, the Treatment
Action Campaign (TAC), has welcomed the launch of a new strategic plan to fight
HIV, the organisation said on Thursday.
"It is a bold plan. South Africa is
showing leadership at a time when many other parts of the world are retreating
from their commitments on HIV," it said.
"Already there are over a million people
on treatment. By the time the plan is complete that number must be three
President Jacob Zuma was expected to launch
the five-year National Strategic Plan (NSP) at a national World Aids Day event
in Port Elizabeth on Thursday.
Zuma, Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe, who
chairs the SA National Aids Council (Sanac), and Eastern Cape premier Noxolo
Kiviet were expected to mark the 23rd commemoration of World Aids Day at the
Wolfson stadium. Cabinet ministers and members of Sanac would also attend.
The TAC said commitments set out in the NSP
needed to be followed through.
"The NSP makes some bold commitments
that will need leadership from the government, including the long delayed issue
of the decriminalisation of sex work," it said.
On Tuesday, Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi
released the annual National Antenatal Sentinel HIV and Syphilis Prevalence
survey - eight months later than expected.
According to the report HIV-prevalence among
pregnant women in the country had increased from 29.4% to 30.2%.
There was a high degree of stabilisation in
the percentage increase of pregnant women between ages 16 to 24 who were
infected. However there had been an upward spike between the ages of 24 and 39.
Motsoaledi said prevention methods aimed at
the youth were one of the reasons why the numbers had stayed within the
He attributed the high HIV prevalence in the
older category to a lack of antiretrovirals and counselling.
According to the survey, KwaZulu-Natal still
had the highest prevalence of HIV-infected pregnant women, while the Northern
and Western Cape had the lowest.