Government is humbled by the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV and AIDS (UNAIDS)'s 2012 World AIDS Day report, released yesterday, Tuesday, 20 November 2012.
According to the report, South Africa increased its scale of HIV treatment by 75%, ensuring 1.7 million people had access to the life saving treatment leading to a decrease of more than 50 000 (41%) in new HIV infections in the past two years.
The report also notes an increase in South Africa' sustained investments on HIV treatment, such as antiretroviral therapy, which have led to many lives being saved in the past six years.
As reflected in the report, "South Africa is the country that has made the highest domestic investment in AIDS among all low- and middle-income countries.
It alone invested US$ 1.9 billion last year from public sources, resulting in a five-fold increase between 2006 and 2011. This strategic leadership is an example being echoed across the region", the report reads".
In response to the findings presented in the 2012 World AIDS Day report, Acting Cabinet Spokesperson Phumla Williams said "South Africa is committed to the fight against new HIV infections, and will continue to invest on the sustainable HIV treatment".
Williams also encouraged all citizens, particularly the youth, to visit local health facilities for Voluntary Counselling and Testing (VCT). "We believe that if many of us get tested, even though we may not be sick, this will help to reduce the amount of stigma associated with the HIV test and is a step towards the achievement of an HIV-free generation".
She also commended the work of non-governmental organisations, religious and traditional institutions in raising awareness about the HIV and AIDS.