‘HIV targets won’t be met’

2010-11-12 12:24

The goal of the National HIV/Aids Strategic Plan, to halve HIV infections by 2011, is not going to be met, the Democratic Alliance in Gauteng said today.

“My impression is that we are failing to effect real behaviour change. Awareness is high, but fundamental changes in behaviour are not happening,” DA provincial spokesperson Jack Bloom said.

He said he was “distressed” that HIV prevalence among pregnant women in Gauteng had not declined, despite all the “massive spending and effort”.

Quoting from the National HIV Antenatal Prevalence Survey, he said HIV prevalence among pregnant women in Gauteng had remained stable, at around 30%, from 2007 to last year.

“It is still about the same as it was 10 years ago.

“About one in six (16.6%) of the total population in Gauteng is HIV-positive, which is scary. This is about 1.7?million people, 300?000 of whom are on antiretroviral treatment,” Bloom said.

Ekurhuleni had the worst prevalence at 34%, while Tshwane had the lowest infection at 26%.

Other figures were Johannesburg at 29%, Metsweding at 33%, Sedibeng at 29% and West Rand at 30%.

Every year, more than 70?000 people in the province became HIV-positive, which was placing strain on hospitals and clinics, he said.

“I fear that the availability of antiretroviral treatment may be making people less cautious when having sex, and the same may happen with circumcision, which lowers the odds on infection, but is not a complete protection.”

Bloom said the message that multiple partners and unprotected sex was deadly needed to be hammered home more forcefully.?

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