Getting more people on antiretrovirals vital in fight against HIV/Aids: Parliament

Parliament says getting more people on antiretrovirals is critical in the fight against HIV/Aids.
Parliament says getting more people on antiretrovirals is critical in the fight against HIV/Aids.
Image: 123RF/Gamjai

Getting an additional two million people on antiretroviral treatment is critical in the fight against HIV/Aids, said parliament’s portfolio committee on health on Sunday, World Aids Day.

“As we commemorate World Aids day, I would like to acknowledge the sterling work by the community health workers across the country. Their contribution should stimulate other South Africans to join and be part of this drive against HIV,” committee chairperson Dr Sibongiseni Dhlomo said.  

He said it remained important to highlight the rollout of interventions and that “achieving the target of an additional two million people on treatment by 2020, increasing of HIV education, counselling and testing, medical male circumcision and many other strategies remain critical in the broader scheme of strategies against HIV”. 

He said World Aids Day served as a reminder of the “critical” role communities played in the fight against the pandemic.

 “The fight against HIV, TB and STIs can only be won when communities realise the important role they can play, and commit themselves fully to that role. The supportive role by communities to people living with HIV/Aids is also a key pillar in this overall war against HIV,” Dhlomo said.   He emphasised that communities should play a leading and meaningful role in dispelling all forms of stigma against people living with HIV/Aids and other diseases.  

The commemoration of this year’s World Aids Day, he said,  followed the launch of the new HIV treatment regime — Tenofovir, Lamivudine and Dolutegravir (TLD) — by health minister Dr Zweli Mkhize.

“Important strides like this, represent the depth of the commitment of the SA government in the fight against HIV.  

“But the government cannot do it alone. South Africans are encouraged to join in this global endeavour in support of the government because collaboration is essential if we are to achieve the common objective,” Dhlomo added.    

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