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Minister backs Aids initiatives

2009-12-07 20:02

Pretoria - Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi on Monday welcomed two major Aids-related announcements, one by the Zulu king and the other by the US.

Last week the American ambassador to South Africa announced that his country was going to make R900m available over two years to help in the fight against HIV/ Aids, health department spokesperson Fidel Hadebe said in a statement.

The donation followed concerns that the allocation made by National Treasury was not enough and that the ARV programme would encounter serious problems, as had happened in various parts of the country.

"We are extremely grateful for this support from the US. For us the support will further strengthen our arm in the fight against HIV and Aids in the country," Motsoaledi said.

Circumcision call welcomed

The minister also welcomed the announcement by Zulu King Goodwill Zwelithini during Saturday's Umkhosi Wokweshwama (bull slaughtering) ritual in Nongoma that he was going to re-introduce male circumcision among his subjects.

Although not 100% effective, scientists have found that male circumcision provides some protection against the HIV transmission.

"We have to throw every arsenal at our disposal in the fight against HIV and Aids in our country.

"The SA National Aids Council has directed the ministry of health to proceed with the implementation of male circumcision in our facilities."

The department was already in the process of assessing the readiness of the country's health facilities for the implementation of such a policy.
 

SAPA