State plan to reduce HIV among youth
Young people between 15 and 24 have been identified as the priority by the country's new HIV-Aids strategic plan, due to be presented to the country today.
The key aims of the National Strategic Plan 2007-11 are to drastically reduce the numbers of people being infected with HIV and to minimise the effects of HIV on people already infected.
The initial targets contained in the plan have been scrapped after the Treatment Action Campaign and the HIV Clinicians' Society complained they were too low.
At a special meeting of the South African National Aids Council (Sanac) this week it was agreed that targets would be set at a conference in March.
Sanac also agreed that a technical task team of HIV-Aids experts would be set up to refine the initial targets. Between now and the March conference different sectors will hold summits about the plan.
A Sanac meeting, to be chaired by Deputy President Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka and attended by decision-makers from sectoral organisations, will meet immediately after the national conference to finalise targets that will be closely monitored.
The plan recommends that there be one government employee dedicated to HIV-Aids for every 100 000 people.
To achieve this, it calls for "fast-tracking recruiting foreign doctors and pharmacists" and for private health practitioners to help where needed.
Treasury is working out how much the plan will cost. - Health e