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New HIV infections down by 39% in Mzansi

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RESEARCH conducted by the SA Institute of Race Relations (SAIRR) shows that MZANSI has made huge progress in the fight against new HIV/AIDS infections.

The SAIRR says the number of new infections since 2009 have declined – but South Africa needs an intensified campaign to maintain the gains.

According to the SAIRR the number of new HIV infections declined by 39% between 2009 and 2016.

 “The high rate of new HIV infections a daunting feature of Thabo Mbeki’s presidency declined under his successor, former President Jacob Zuma, largely as a result of improved HIV/AIDS awareness and campaigning strategies in schools, hospitals and communities,” IRR analyst Tawanda Makombo said.

Makombo stated that condom distribution mostly at universities has increased to an extent that students even demand to be supplied with flavoured varieties.

Meanwhile, KwaZulu-Natal which had the highest rate of new HIV infections in 2009 managed to drastically reduce almost 50% of new infections by the year 2016.

However, Gauteng’s rate of new infections fell by 27.6% from 102 074 in 2009, to 73 951 in 2016.

“Gauteng has the highest number of new infections of all nine provinces,” Makombo said.

Makombo said the national Department of Health must strengthen HIV/AIDS awareness among all South Africans.

Makombo further urged Civil society to be more involved in education and support programmes in the fight against HIV and AIDS.

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