Government of South Africa has made great strides in the fight against HIV and AIDS in the past decade. The negative implications other health challenges such as tuberculosis (TB) relentlessly affect the capabilities of South Africa to achieve some of its development goals.
As a response to such circumstances, the government introduced a variety of health programs and strategies such as the HIV Voluntary Counseling and Testing programs for the Prevention of Mother to Child Transmission (transmission was 8 percent in 2008 and 2.6% in 2012 at three months after birth), HIV Treatment and Care, Medical Male Circumcision and the TB control program under the framework of the National Strategic Plan (NSP) on HIV, STI and TB.
AdvertisementTen years ago, 1000 AIDS related deaths were recorded everyday. More than 100 000 of the infected millions were accessing life-saving anti-retroviral drugs, while about 30% to 40% of babies were born HIV positive in 2002.
Today, life expectancy has risen by up to 10 years, AIDS-related mortality has dropped significantly, fewer mothers infect their babies in pregnancy or at birth and more than 3 million people are on anti-retroviral treatment.
HIV and AIDS continue to ravage the nation with 6.4 million people estimated to be infected with the virus and 400,000 new infections recorded every year.
Professor Quarraisha Abdool Karim noted, "We need a vaccine and a cure". The reality of finding a cure or vaccine in the next few years is slim, considering that HIV evolves constantly and scientists are finding it difficult to pin down the nature of the virus.