HIV infections among KZN youth still a concern for government

HIV infections among KZN youth still a concern for government

KwaZulu-Natal's Acting Premier says the province’s battle against the HIV/AIDS pandemic seems to be under control however some concerns remain.

Nomusa Dube-Ncube presented the HIV/AIDS report

Nomusa Dube-Ncube says most HIV/AIDS focused programmes are bearing fruits, but the number of new infections among young people is worrying. 

On Thursday at the Provincial Legislature in Pietermaritzburg, she presented a report on the efforts by the government to curb the spread of the disease and improve access to life-saving Antiretroviral treatment. 

Dube-Ncube says most districts in the province are performing well in getting more people tested and placed under medication.

"As KwaZulu-Natal, we are pleased that 70 percent of people living with HIV/AIDS know their status, which is 95 percent of people in KwaZulu-Natal."

"However, the challenge is still the youth between the ages of 15 and 35 where we are concerned that the numbers are showing a slight decrease meaning that we need to intensify our campaign with the young people," she said. 

READ: SANAC: 'New' HIV strain won't affect current regimens in SA

Political parties reacted, saying the government needs to amplify the message of preventing HIV infections. 

The DA's Rishigen Viranna says the government needs to take prevention campaigns to the youth using relevant channels.

"We need more drastic and eye-opening campaigns that target the youth in particular. Young people are no on their cell phones, and that is where the anti-HIV campaigns need to go to save this generation," he said. 

Ncamisile Nkwanyana of the IFP says the government needs to stay up to date with the growing pandemic.

"To invest in research and development of new prevention and testing strategies which must be kept up to date with the changes in the nature of the pandemic," she said. 

The EFF's Nomvomvo Mpayipheli said: "The government must make it a point that it puts more effort in mobilising awareness and bring about a deliberate culture of testing."

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