Statements and Webcast
H. E. Mr. Kgalema Petrus Motlanthe, Deputy President
8 June 2011
- Statement: English (Check against delivery)
KGALEMA MOTLANTHE, Deputy President of South Africa, said that the HIV and AIDS epidemic was a leading cause of death in a number of developing countries, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa, because of the lack of scientific breakthrough in medications and lack of financial resources to access antiretroviral and other drugs. Women bore the biggest brunt of the disease, but reproductive health and HIV prevention programmes did not adequately address that group. The recent results of tenofovir-based gel had raised hopes that a female-initiated prevention alternative could become available soon. Although the recent financial crisis had impacted developing countries in particular, the fight against HIV and AIDS should not be compromised, and costs needed to be reduced to facilitate universal coverage. In Africa, a number of strategies were adopted to address challenges posed by HIV and AIDS, including the adoption of the Kampala Declaration at the African Union Summit of Heads of State meeting in Uganda in July.
South Africa had embarked on programmes coordinated through the South African National AIDS Council that were rooted in partnerships with various stakeholders and addressed the social determinants of the HIV, AIDS and tuberculosis epidemics, he said. The Government plan of actions improved citizens’ lives through the provision of houses, poverty eradication strategies, economic policies and interventions focusing on youth development. The National Strategic Plan from 2007-2011 aimed to reduce new infections by 50 per cent and to achieve 80 per cent coverage with respect to access to antiretroviral therapy. Great progress was made in areas such as the reduction of new infections among young people and reducing mother-to-child transmission of HIV, using dual therapy, from 8.3 per cent to 3.5 per cent. Through the HIV Counselling and Testing Initiative, started in April 2010, 12 million to date were tested. 1.4 million people were put on antiretroviral therapy through public health facilities alone. Public expenditure on HIV and AIDS increased by 40 per cent per annum and, in the current financial year, $1 billion was allocated to HIV and AIDS programmes. Additionally, South Africa was hosting its 5th AIDS Conference, which would contribute towards the development of a new Strategic Framework for 2012-2016.