Jack Bloom MPL
DA Gauteng Health Spokesman
I am pleased that figures released today at the Gauteng AIDS Summit show progress in combating this epidemic, but we should not be complacent.
While HIV infection in teenagers and youth (15-24 years) has reportedly been halved from 2007 to 2011, about 30% of pregnant women in Gauteng are HIV-positive, which is the same as it was ten years ago.
More than 500 000 people are on anti-retroviral treatment, which I believe is the major factor in reducing infections rather than behaviour change. This is because HIV-positive people on ARVs are less infectious.
The Democratic Alliance endorses the goal of reducing new HIV infections by at least 50% by 2016.
Treatment is expensive, so behavioural change is critical, and this starts by testing and knowing one’s status.