22 February 2013

South Africa: Government Encouraged By Drop in New HIV Infections in Kwazulu-Natal

press release

Government is encouraged by the findings of a study conducted by the University of KwaZulu-Natal's Africa Centre for Health and Population Studies regarding provision of antiretroviral (ARV) treatment to the population of KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) province.

The study has found that adult life expectancy of the general population in the KZN province has increased from 49 years to 60 years and new HIV infections have dropped as a result of widespread of antiretrovirals (ARVs) freely provided by Government.

Acting Cabinet Spokesperson, Phumla Williams, has commended the work done by the UKZN, and urged other universities and research institutions to embark on such studies.

Williams said "the University of KwaZulu-Natal has done a great job in conducting such a study, and as Government we are humbled and encouraged by the findings of the study". Williams added that "Government is committed to the fight against new HIV infections, and will continue to invest on the sustainable HIV treatment".

South Africa is committed to "Zero New HIV infections", "Zero Discrimination" and "Zero AIDS-related deaths" through continuous investment in scientific research, provision of necessary treatment and raising awareness about HIV/AIDS.

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 lessen the amount of stigma associated with the HIV test and is a step towards the achievement of an HIV-free generation", said Williams.

She also commended the work of non-governmental organisations, religious and traditional institutions in raising awareness about the HIV and AIDS.

Issued by: Government Communication and Information System (GCIS)

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