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Support for tougher response to infectious diseases

The South African National Aids Council (Sanac), the highest body that advises government on HIV and AIDS, TB and STI response, recently concluded its final plenary meeting in Modimolle, Limpopo.

A five-year review on the fight against the epidemics was discussed at the session, chaired for the last time by Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe. Sanac together with civil society, businesses and organized labour, agreed that the next five years will see a tougher response to these infections.

Motlanthe explained how all the strategies implemented during the past five years had an impact. According to him, Sanac interrogated some of their policies, especially on treatment. “From 2009 we looked at the policy decisions which were taken by cabinet in that year and the implementation of that policy decision with regards to extending treatment to all those with CD4 count of 350.”

Before 2009, just over two million people were tested for HIV/AIDS. Currently the HIV Counseling and Testing program has seen that figure rise to well above 20 million. The program was launched in April 2010.

The review also suggested a decline in the figures of mother to child transmission. Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi, said this is because people who are receiving treatment are living longer, while new infections are being added. He said the recent figures which showed an increase in the number of HIV infections came as no surprise.

South Africa is one of the countries receiving the bulk of global funds to help fight TB and multi-drug resistant tuberculosis. New TB detection technologies were introduced to ensure quicker diagnosis.

Source: SABC

Last Updated on 24 April 2014 by HPCSA Corporate Affairs