3 June 2009
The government has set itself the target of getting 80% of HIV-positive South Africans on antiretroviral treatment by 2011, while bringing the rate of new HIV infections down by 50%.
President Jacob Zuma, in his state of the nation Address in Cape Town on Wednesday, said the government was concerned at the deterioration of the quality of health care, aggravated by the steady increase in the burden of disease in the past 15 years.
He said the government had to work together with stakeholders to improve the implementation of its HIV/Aids treatment and care plan, which aims to reduce the rate of new HIV infections by 50% by the year 2011.
“We have set ourselves the goals of further reducing inequalities in health care provision, to boost human resource capacity, revitalise hospitals and clinics, and step up the fight against the scourge of HIVAids, TB and other diseases,” Zuma said.
During his budget speech on February, former Finance Minister Trevor Manuel allocated an additional R932-million to the Health Department’s HIV/Aids grant in 2009/10.
These funds were expected to be used to screen more pregnant women for HIV and to phase in an improved drug regimen to prevent mother-to-child HIV transmission.
Over 630 000 people are on government’s anti-retroviral programme currently, and the medium-term expenditure framework provides for an increase to 1.4-million people by 2011/12.