UN: South Africa at the forefront of global AIDS response - UNAIDS

New York, US (PANA) - The Joint UN Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) on Friday
said that South Africa is at the forefront of the global HIV/AIDS response, in order
to end the AIDS epidemic by 2030.

A UNAIDS statement made available to PANA in New York, said that UNAIDS
Executive Director Michel Sidibe this week met South Africa’s Deputy
President, Cyril Ramaphosa, and Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi in
Pretoria, South Africa, to discuss the country’s ongoing response to HIV.

South Africa is the country with the highest number of people living with
HIV in the world, with 6.5 million people living with the virus.

"However, the country continues to scale up treatment and prevention services
as part of the UNAIDS Fast-Track approach to ending the AIDS epidemic by
2030, and is showing results, and around 340 000 people were newly infected
with HIV in 2014, down from 600 000 in 2000," it said.

According to the statement, this year promises to be particularly significant for
South Africa’s AIDS response as the country will host the 21st International
AIDS Conference in Durban in July.

"South Africa continues to achieve impressive results in its AIDS response," said
Mr. Sidibe. "I am delighted that it will play a leading role in two major milestones in
the global AIDS response: the UN General Assembly High-Level Meeting on
Ending AIDS in New York, and the 21st International AIDS Conference in
Durban."

On his part, South Africa's VP described the upcoming conference as a key
opportunity to showcase the turnaround in the South African epidemic
since the International AIDS Conference was last hosted in Durban in 2000.  

Mr. Ramaphosa also stated that South Africa will send a delegation to attend
the UN Nations General Assembly High-Level Meeting on Ending AIDS in
New York in June.

"South Africa has invested heavily in its AIDS response in the last six years.
We are excited to show the results of this investment to the rest of the world
during the UN High-Level Meeting on Ending AIDS, in New York, and the 21st
International AIDS Conference, in Durban, South Africa," he added.

Also, Mr. Motsoaledi said: "We must ensure that HIV remains at the centre of
the global health development agenda", noting that, "health cuts across
almost all of the SDGs and without addressing health we will not achieve the
ambitious development goals set for 2030."
-0-   PANA   AA/AR  15 April2016

15 april 2016 16:50:48




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