uThungulu lends its support to fight against HIV/Aids

2012-12-05 00:00

THE uThungulu District Municipality has pledged its support to an organisation led by King Goodwill Zwelithini, which is taking on the fight against HIV/Aids.

uThungulu Mayor Thulani Mashaba said yesterday the municipality was behind the Bayethe Trust because they believed more work needed to be done to lower infections in the region.

“Nationally, there has been a decrease in HIV/Aids infections and for this we must be proud, but we need to do more until we can safely say that we live in an HIV/Aids-free country,” said Mashaba.

Bayethe Trust CEO Rhana Naicker said they have received support from both the district municipality and the uMhlathuze Municipality, who will support them in various ways in rolling out a mass testing campaign.

“King Goodwill Zwelithini is passionate about protecting the people of Zululand from this disease. His household has for years advocated the need for safe lifestyles, strong family values and the rights of women and children. He also understands that if a person does carry the disease, it is not a death sentence, provided they seek medication,” said Naicker.

The Bayethe Trust will, following on from World Aids Day on December 1, hold several mass testing campaigns throughout the district, in conjunction with uMhlathuze, uThungulu and the KZN Department of Health.

The Medical Research Council reported this year that the rise in the average life expectancy of South Africans from 54 years in 2005 to 60 in 2011 was directly related to the large-scale distribution of antiretroviral (ARV) drugs by the public health sector.

In 2005, only 133 000 patients were on ARVs. Now the total stands at 1,9 million, the biggest programme in the world.

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