KZN’s nightmare reputation in sharp focus on International Aids Day

Dr Imran Keeka, MPL

DA KZN Spokesperson on Health

AS the world recognizes International Aids Day, the DA in KZN is keenly aware that our province is the epicentre of HIV and Aids in South Africa.

Despite this nightmare reputation, there is some progress and we have come a long way from the days of denial and beetroot.

We welcome the announcement that those with cd4 counts less than 500 will be given treatment in line with international recommendations.   It is critical though that KZN’s DoH is able to manage this roll out – both financially and with the available human resources.  The DA is committed to closely monitoring this process.

As the world marks International Aids day, our message to the people of our province is;

–          Go out and be tested.   Knowing your status prevents spreading the disease if you are positive.  If not, it highlights the importance of remembering the key pillars of prevention.

–          Young ladies and girls – beware the dangers of sugar daddies.  This is especially pertinent as we mark 16 Days of Activism against No Violence Against Women and Children.  It is not worth ruining your future for a few extra luxuries.

–          Good nutrition, regular check-ups and taking your meds is very important to ensure that you stay well if you are HIV positive.  Developments in fixed dose treatments have made it easier to remember to take your treatment.

–          Stay away from dubious treatments and so called cures.  This delays good treatment and wellness.

–          Circumcision has been shown to dramatically curb the acquisition of HIV and we encourage men to have it done.  We remain concerned that not enough is being done by KZN’s Health department to promote this.  If any member of the public is turned away from any health facility we ask them to contact their nearest DA public rep to report this or contact us by electronic means so that we can assist you.

The DA in KZN is committed to providing oversight and solution-driven criticism to ensure that affected communities receive the best possible healthcare in all institutions.

Government has a responsibility to ensure that the 2030 vision is adhered to and that it does not become yet another ‘discussion only’ piece of paper.