Aids Focus

US hands over Aids project to SA

2012-08-08 12:58
Hillary Clinton (AP)

Hillary Clinton (AP)

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Cape Town - The Obama administration is turning over control of a successful anti-Aids programme to South Africa as the government boosts its investment in fighting the deadly disease.

US secretary of state Hillary Rodham Clinton on Wednesday presided over the signing of an agreement with South African health officials that will put them in the lead in administering the President's Emergency Plan for Aids Relief (Pepfar) in the country.

The programme has spent $3.2bn on anti-retroviral drugs, other treatments and HIV prevention programmes in South Africa since then-president George W Bush started it in 2004. The handover will be phased in over five years.

South Africa has the highest HIV infection rate in the world, with 5.7m people - 17.8% of the population - testing positive for the virus.

Success

On Tuesday, Clinton said that American-sponsored efforts to stop the virus have saved lives in South Africa.

Clinton met with International Relations Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane and other senior officials in the second cabinet-level strategic dialogue between the two nations. She also participated in a summit of leading US business executives and their South African counterparts with the aim of boosting trade between the two countries.

"Together, I think it's fair to say we have saved hundreds of thousands of lives," Clinton said.

Clinton is in South Africa at the midpoint of an 11-day tour that has already taken her to Senegal, Uganda, South Sudan, Kenya and Malawi. After the stop in Cape Town, she will travel on to Nigeria, Ghana and Benin before moving on to Turkey, where she will have meetings to discuss Syria.

- AP

Read more on:    hillary clinton  |  cape town  |  hiv aids  |  health

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