SA to Treat 6.2 m of its citizens with HIV in the next 3 Years


South Africa has said plans are underway to carry out massive tests and treatments on at least 6.2 million of its citizens with HIV by 2020.

The Deputy President, Cyril Ramaphosa disclosed this on Friday, while thanking its social partners as South Africa joins the rest of the world to mark the World Aids Day in Mthatha, Eastern Cape Province.

The Jacob Zuma country which is said to have one of the highest HIV/AIDS prevalence in the world, already has about 4.2 million people on antiretroviral treatment.

Ramaphosa  said: "But there is still some way to go because we have about 7.1 million people who are HIV positive.

“South Africa will be introducing a new treatment combination from April next year. Known as Dolutegravir, the combination treatment is good for patients and relatively cheap.”.

This in turn "will allow us to put more patients on treatment," he said without elaboration.

Ramaphosa reaffirmed the government's determination to achieve the goal of zero new HIV infections, zero discrimination, and zero AIDS-related deaths.

New infections are coming down, but too slowly, Ramaphosa said.
South Africa, which had an estimated 270,000 new infections in 2016, has set a target to reduce the number to no more than 88,000 by 2020.

Ramaphosa urged South Africans to have their health status tested.