World AIDS Day – 1 Dec 2017

Increasing Impact through Transparency, Accountability, and Partnerships

The first two official AIDS deaths in South Africa were recorded in 1982 with the first case having being discovered in West Africa in 1930. For almost a century now, the world has worked tirelessly to defeat this epidemic and it seems we are getting closer to this victory.

The estimated overall HIV prevalence rate is approximately 12,6% among the South African population. The total number of people living with HIV is estimated at approximately 7,06 million in 2017. The South African National Aids Council (SANAC) says 681 434 people died of HIV/Aids in 2006. This number dropped to 150 375 in 2016. A definite drop by almost 78%

Not so long ago there was stigma and a lot of discrimination against people living with HIV in South Africa and globally. People cringed just from hearing the letters H-I-V. Those who were infected were too ashamed to come out and family members were equally quiet about the disease in their households. South Africa’s positive turnaround in HIV response was driven largely by the massive campaign to get South Africans to test for HIV.

The joint campaign driven by SANAC and the Department of Health held between April 2010 and June 2011 is considered by experts as the most successful HIV response in the whole of the Southern African region to date. By December 2010, 4.6 million South Africans had taken an HIV test since the launch of the campaign.

The campaign set a target of testing 15 million sexually active South Africans from age 15 and older in all nine provinces. The tests gave the government an idea of the number of people who needed to be put on treatment and thus save lives. Also the massive amount of people who came out to test proved that the decades’ long stigma surrounding HIV was no longer there.

South Africa today boasts the largest antiretroviral treatment programme globally and its efforts have been largely financed from own domestic resources, spending around R15 billion annually to run its HIV/Aids programmes

To even add more good news, a clinical trial called HVTN 100 has been launched in South Africa to study an investigational HIV vaccine regimen for safety and the immune responses it generates in study participants. The results of the HVTN 100 trial, expected in two years, will help determine whether or not this vaccine regimen will be tested for efficacy in a large future study in South Africa.

Do your part today and get tested or donate towards an HIV/AIDS related cause.

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