Fighting the surge of HIV and AIDS in South Africa has been a major challenge especially in the Western Cape. Today as the world celebrates World AIDS Day, Western Cape Government Health reflects on the last 18 months and the significant inroads into curbing this dreaded disease.
Message from the Western Cape Minister of Health, Theuns Botha:
Western Cape Government Health is a willing and successful partner for HIV Testing and Counselling, and our track record in this regard stands testimony to this. 747 139 were achieved against a target of 554 244 in the Annual Performance Plan 201/2011. This target was then increased to 1.1 million for a fifteen month period from May 2010 till end July 2011. The final number of patients tested was 1 042 942. We had an 8% HIV positivity rate. Translated into numbers, it is 83 435 patients. It is estimated that about 20% of the latter number can receive antiretroviral treatment.
Through triple therapy, the prevention of mother-to child transmission of HIV the current transmission rate is below 3% while the number of patients placed on anti-retroviral therapy is exceeding 100 000.
This provincial government is committed to the battle against HIV and AIDS and will continue to allocate budget towards this battle. In fact, we regard this as one of our most important health obligations towards the public of the Western Cape. Given this responsibility we call on individuals to take responsibility for their own health, and for the risks they take in making irresponsible decisions affecting their own health. Become our partners in government to eradicate the scourges of ill-health and contribute to wellness.