US injects R4,2bn to fight Aids

SUSTAINING the expanded antiretroviral programme will now be easier for the South African government.

SUSTAINING the expanded antiretroviral programme will now be easier for the South African government.

This after the United States donated R4,2billion towards the fight against HIV-Aids in the country.

On World Aids Day on December 1 President Jacob Zuma announced that all pregnant HIV-positive women with CD4 counts at or below 350 would qualify for ARVs.

The announcement was met with mixed reactions, with some people praising it as a step in the right direction while others felt it was an ambitious decision that the country would not be able to sustain.

At the time Zuma said there were resources in place to ensure that the expanded ARV programme, which would come into effect last year, was not interrupted. It is expected that by the end of March more than 900000 people will be receiving anti-retroviral treatment.

The US Mission in South Africa is currently negotiating a five-year partnership framework with the government that will lay out our co-operation on HIV and Aids programmes via the US President's Emergency Plan for Aids Relief

US ambassador Donald Gips said: "Signing the five-year partnership framework is an important step to ensure future funding in South Africa.

"We have every expectation that funding levels will continue as the fight against HIV is the cornerstone of the President's Global Health Initiative.

"The fight against HIV and Aids in South Africa will take many years of hard work by a diverse group of partners.

"The US is and will remain one of the most committed and fully invested partners in this battle," Gips said.

There are 5,7million South Africans living with HIV-Aids. Of those 700000 are on treatment.

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