Monday, November 30, 2009

SAMA calls for people to go for HIV test

By Ofentse Mokae
30 November 2009

The South African Medical Association has called on people to get HIV tests done to celebrate World Aids Day tomorrow.

SAMA’s Dr Norman Mabasa says it is important for everyone to know their HIV status by regular testing and for every South African living with HIV to have access to antiretroviral treatment.

In an interview with the station Mabasa says they also encourage pregnant women to test early in their pregnancy for HIV to prevent their babies being infected.

“We also encourage pregnant women to test early in their pregnancy for HIV, so that they can prevent their babies from becoming infected,” said Mabasa.

Mabasa says World Aids Day is about increasing awareness of HIV and AIDS, but also about education and fighting prejudice.

“It is important for everyone to know their HIV status by testing regularly for HIV and for every South African living with HIV to have access to anti-retroviral (ARV) treatment,” added Mabasa

He said this act should be a continuous exercise not only a one day initiative.

“SAMA repeats our call that treatment should commence as soon as the CD4 count has dropped to 350 and below,” he said.

World Aids Day will be marked by an event at the Pretoria Showgrounds, to be attended by President Jacob Zuma and Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi as well as deputy President Kgaleman Motlanthe who also chairs the SA National Aids Council.

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