Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa has reiterated government’s commitment to providing life-saving HIV treatment to all those who need it.
Currently, South Africa provides 3.4 million HIV positive people with antiretroviral treatment.
Speaking during that the International Aids Conference Deputy President Ramaphosa said the struggle against HIV and Aids has been – and still is – a struggle for a better society.
“We desire a society in which men do not claim dominion over women; a society in which the powerful do not prey on the vulnerable,” he said.
The Deputy President added that as the thousands of delegates gathered in Durban, they were bound to recall the moving plea of an 11-year-old, Nkosi Johnson, for treatment for children like him, who were living with HIV.
Although the world has surpassed its own global treatment targets, by initiating 17 million people on antiretroviral treatment. Many of the 2.5 million children currently living with HIV in South Africa have no access to treatment, due in large to a lack of tailored screening and treatment options.
Deputy President Ramaphosa added that, despite challenges, South Africa had dramatically reduced the transmission of HIV from mother to child.
In 2004, there were 70 000 babies born HIV positive in this country. Today the figure has been reduced to less than 6 000.