SA heeds Aids Day positively

Alex Matlala, Elisha Molefe and Mthetho Ndoni

Alex Matlala, Elisha Molefe and Mthetho Ndoni

The Limpopo premier, Sello Moloto, is expected to join his health and social development MEC, Seaparo Charles Sekoati, and hundreds of the province's dignitaries in Lulekani Stadium in Phalaborwa tomorrow to mark World Aids Day.

Mohale Nchabeleng, Moloto's spokesman, told Sowetan yesterday that Moloto is likely to reveal his provincial administration's plans to fight HIV and Aids.

Nchabeleng said the premier is also expected to report back on the progress of joint projects of his government and non-governmental organisations in the fight against HIV and Aids in the past 12 years.

According to estimates by the University of Cape Town (UCT), about 5,4 million South Africans were living with HIV- Aids until the middle of this year.

This is about 11 percent of the country's population.

Lee Johnson, of the Aids Law Project at UCT, said about 33percent of women in the country have HIV-Aids and 27percent of men have it.

Johnson said about 1,5 million children, or 66percent of the country's children were Aids orphans.

l Howard Yawa, the MEC for Public Works in North West led his senior managers yesterday in signing a pledge to support employees who voluntarily disclose their HIV-Aids status.

l Speaking to prison inmates in Port Elizabeth on Tuesday, Loretta Jacobus, the deputy minister for correctional services, said nutrition played a critical role in supporting antiretroviral treatment. But she stressed that diet was not an alternative to treatment.

She was accompanied by the Correctional Services Minister Ngconde Balfour.

She said: "The department of correctional services, if seen as a microcosm of society, inevitably shares similar challenges in managing HIV-Aids .

"In our programme, nutrition is not an alternative to treatment but an integral part of it, which is why offenders are put on a special diet during treatment."

She urged South Africans to become part of "the national action plan against gender and child- directed violence".