Zuma and top officials in the Bay for World Aids Day announcement

Luyolo Mkentane mkentanel@avusa.co.za

PRESIDENT Jacob Zuma and his deputy Kgalema Motlanthe are expected in Nelson Mandela Bay today to announce government’s  plan to extend HIV treatment to everyone with a CD4 count of 350 and under.

Zuma is expected to announce the plan during his World’s Day speech at KwaZakhele’s Wolfson Stadium. 

Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi this week released the National HIV prevalence survey results from 2010 which showed an increase in prevalence among older women, most noticeable in the 45 to 49-year-old age group.

The survey, which sampled over 32000 pregnant women attending antenatal clinics in October last year, also found that HIV prevalence has remained steady at 21.8% for 15- to 24-year-olds and at 37.3% for 25- to 29-year-olds since 2008.

It also showed that the Eastern Cape had the sixth highest number of HIV positive people in the country. 

Motlanthe would attend in his capacity as chairman of the SA National Aids Council [Sanac].

Eastern Cape Premier Noxolo Kiviet, cabinet ministers and Sanac members are also expected to attend the event

Eastern Cape Aids Council chairperson Helen Sauls-August said they wanted to focus in Nelson Mandela Bay region in the next two years because HIV/Aids statistics on new infections had increased by 2.9% from 27% to 29.9% in the past year in the Bay region, adding: “We also have serious concerns over the extent of alcohol and drug abuse especially among the youth in this area.”  –  Additional reporting by Brian Hayward.


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