MINISTER WANTS HIV-AIDS TACKLED HEAD-ON
DEPUTY Minister of Social Development Bathabile Dlamini has called for less "bickering or posture over semantics" in the implementation of the national strategy to turn around the spread of the HIV-Aids pandemic.
Dlamini's call also follows the drastic change in government's attitude towards the pandemic.
President Jacob Zuma kicked off the new strategy with his address on World Aids Day by calling on partners in and outside of government to help fight the scourge.
Writing in the ANC online publication ANC Today, Dlamini also called on the nation to test for HIV.
"We cannot afford to bicker or posture over semantics. We must all support the government and, in particular, the Department of Health which leads this fight.
"With the leadership provided by the president, there is now a wide space for collaboration with local and international partners in strengthening our prevention, care and treatment programmers."
She also called on everyone to test for HIV. "There is encouragement from the highest office for each one of us to test for HIV.
"Knowing your status will enable you to take a correct decision about your life and access prevention, care and treatment services that government has made available."
Her call comes as the SA Medical Association has called for the discontinuation of HIV home test kits.
Sama issued a statement this week distancing itself from home testing without counselling and warned it could lead to more people committing suicide.
Sama chairperson Norman Mabasa said: "The danger of similar tragic incidents happening once people are encouraged to conduct home testing cannot be excluded.
"Similarly, if a person goes for counselling before they do their own test, they might as well be assisted in doing the test.