South Africa: Deputy President to Release UNAIDS Global Report

Community health agent Babongile Luhlongwane who is one of the nearly 90 dedicated health workers who are taking HIV counseling and testing to the most remote parts of KwaZulu-Natal.

The South African National Aids Council (SANAC) chairperson, Deputy President David Mabuza, will on Tuesday officiate at the launch of the UNAIDS Global Report.

The report, which contains the latest data on the HIV epidemic, will be launched at the King Dinuzulu Stadium in Eshowe, KwaZulu-Natal.

Deputy President Mabuza is expected to attend the launch at the invitation of the Acting Executive Director of UNAIDS, Gunilla Carlsson. The event will also be attended by representatives from government, traditional leaders, civil society and members of the surrounding communities.

The report contains the latest information on progress and challenges in the AIDS response and highlights the enormous impact community health workers have in successfully expanding access to treatment, supporting adherence and preventing new HIV infections.

According to UNAIDS, South Africa and in particular the KwaZulu-Natal province was nominated out of the 193 United Nations member states to host the official launch of this report in view of its remarkable and outstanding efforts in the fight against HIV and AIDS.

In line with the 90-90-90 UNAIDS targets, KwaZulu-Natal province in particular Eshowe, has already achieved the targets ahead of the 2020 deadline.

The aim of the 90-90-90 targets is to diagnose 90% of all HIV-positive persons, provide antiretroviral therapy (ART) for 90% of those diagnosed, and achieve viral suppression for 90% of those treated by 2020.

In achieving the set targets, numerous activities were launched in partnership with the Eshowe communities and KwaZulu-Natal Department of Health to join efforts in preventing new infection, increasing HIV testing, linking people quickly to care and support their adherence, retention and suppression on treatment.

The launch also takes place when the country and the entire world will be commemorating the Nelson Mandela International Day on 18 July.

In this regard, Deputy President Mabuza and the delegation will also have the opportunity to heed the call to action and take 67 minutes out of their day to help those in need through volunteering and community service.

Deputy President Mabuza will be supported by the Health Minister Zweli Mkhize, the KwaZulu-Natal Province Premier Sihle Zikalala, Members of the Executive Council (MECs), Councillors and other senior government officials.

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