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Re: [xmca] Do you know your HIV status?

Thanks for this message. It is important for other people to know what it is
happening here.

2009/12/1 Mary van der Riet <vanderriet@ukzn.ac.za>

> I'm paraphrasing Mail and Guardian news reports here, but here is the South
> African update for this global problem:
> South Africa, a nation of about 50-million, has an estimated 5,7-million
> people infected with HIV -- more than any other country in the world. Nearly
> 1 000 South Africans die every day of Aids-related diseases.
> While South Africa's HIV-infection rate may have stabilised, experts warn
> that the country's slow response to the pandemic has triggered a time bomb
> that may leave one in three children orphaned. "Estimates show that by 2015,
> some 5 700 000 or 32% of all children in South Africa would have lost one or
> both parents due to HIV/Aids," said Gail Eddy, a researcher at the Institute
> of Race Relations.
> In 2008 there were 1,5-million Aids orphans according to the country's
> health department. She said as the pandemic continues to shorten the lives
> of parents more children were going to be orphaned and the number of
> child-headed households would increase.
> Former president Thabo Mbeki's government questioned the link between HIV
> and Aids, and his health minister distrusted drugs developed to keep Aids
> patients alive, instead promoting beetroot and garlic as Aids treatments.
> A Harvard study has concluded that more than 300 000 premature deaths in
> South Africa could have been prevented had officials here acted sooner to
> provide drug treatments to Aids patients and to prevent pregnant women with
> HIV from passing the virus to their children."
> Some have referred to his stance as 'genocide'
> Today, South Africa's president Jacob Zuma argued that extraordinary
> measures were needed to address South Africa's HIV problem.
> He called on all South Africans to test and know their status. He also
> promised an upscaling of ARV treatment provision.
> "The HIV tests are voluntary and they are confidential. We know that it is
> not easy. It is a difficult decision to take," Zuma said. "I am making
> arrangements for my own test. I have taken HIV tests before, and I know my
> status. I will do another test soon," he said. "I urge you to start planning
> for your own tests."
> His public candour marked a sharp break from the denialist policies of
> former president Thabo Mbeki, who defied scientific evidence to question the
> link between HIV and Aids, delaying the provision of treatment to millions
> of people"
> Mary
> Mary van der Riet; School of Psychology; University of KwaZulu-Natal
> Private Bag X01, Scottsville, 3209
> email: vanderriet@ukzn.ac.za
> tel: 033 260 6163;  fax: 033 2605809
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