Tuesday, December 01, 2020

World Aids Day 2020

Approximately every 100 seconds, a child or young person under the age of 20 was newly infected with Human Immunodefiency Virus (HIV) last year, bringing the total number of children living with HIV to 2.8 million. This statistics was revealed in a UNICEF report today.

The report, Reimagining a resilient HIV response for children, adolescents and pregnant women living with HIV, warns that children are being left behind in the fight against HIV.

Prevention efforts and treatment for children remain some of the lowest amongst key affected populations.

Tuesday marks World Aids Day, under the theme, “Global solidarity, shared responsibility” and as the Chair of the South African National AIDS Council, Deputy President David Mabuza, will lead the national commemoration with an address on progress in the country’s response.

The Western Cape’s Health MEC, Dr. Nomafrench Mbombo says citizens couldn’t get tested for HIV as South Africans were under ‘hard lockdown’

‘’During the COVID-19 pandemic in the province, HIV services were affected as clients were told to stay home, that medication would be delivered to them, and that they only present to health facilities for emergencies and for chronic medication. Consequently, all primary health care (PHC) services that were considered non-emergencies (e.g. family planning or related), were de-escalated. This has posed a challenge for clients testing and starting antiretroviral treatment (ART), and accessing other services, such as voluntary male medical circumcision.’’

In his weekly letter, President Cyril Ramaphosa said more work on HIV prevention among key populations, including sex workers, men who have sex with men, and people who inject drugs is needed.

South Africa, he added, needs to increase efforts to medically circumcise young men to reduce their risk of acquiring HIV, saying unsafe circumcision should not leave young men dead or with lifelong health complications.

 

Done By: Mitchum George

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