It has been proposed to raise the financial grant for the South African AIDS program from the existing 187 million U.S. dollars to 255 million dollars in the current financial year (2006- 07). Finance Minister Trevor Manuel, who presented the annual budget in the National Assembly, submitted the proposal.
The minister also said that care of children orphaned by AIDS/HIV would deserve the utmost social service priority of the African Government. The year 2006 has even been declared as the 'year of accelerated prevention of HIV', that would focus on the reduction of social stigma attached to AIDS, increasing AIDS/HIV awareness among youth, expansion of STI treatment and increased accessibility to female condoms and counseling services.
The National Government's HIV/AIDS grant to provinces, that sponsors anti-retroviral treatment, would be eligible to receive the funding in addition to the HIV/AIDS life skills education grant. More than 1 lakh African people receive the ARV treatment as a part of the nationwide program.
Africa has the largest population of HIV infected individuals in the World, with nearly 6 million of the 47 million people suffering from HIV/AIDS. With the proposed increase in the provincial spending on HIV/AIDS in Africa, the incidence of HIV is believed to attenuate in the forthcoming years.
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