SOUTH AFRICA, DURBAN: KwaZulu-Natal remains the epicentre of HIV/Aids in South Africa. According to KZN Premier Sihle Zikalala, the continued rise in the HIV infection rate in KZN is because of ‘blessers’.
Speaking during the provincial World Aids Day event, which was held in Manguzi in the northern part of the province, Umkhanyakude District, Zikalala said in KZN alone, there are more than two million people living with HIV.
Zikalala said ‘blessers’ should stop buying young girls airtime or giving them pocket money in order to have sex with them.
Premier Zikalala encouraged young people to abstain from having sex for as long as possible.
“Young people must abstain from s3x and when they do decide to have a partner, they must get tested together and ensure they use condoms. The call is for all of us to “Cheka Impilo” – to check regularly to make sure they are negative. Should you discover that you are positive, start taking Antiretroviral Therapy (ART) and do so in strict compliance with the guidelines,” he said.
The provincial breakdown shows that all provinces have achieved the first 90 targets, with KZN performing the uppermost at 93.
“We applaud, in particular, the districts of Ugu, uMzinyathi, uMkhanyakude, and Harry Gwala, for successfully meeting their 90-90-90 targets by 2020,” he said.
Premier Zikalala stressed that the province would be intensifying the campaign to ensure that the Aids pandemic would be reversed in the province.
He also announced that the province had to increase the number of adult men on ART by 570,096, adult women by 480,401, and children by 58,963.
“We need to focus on initiation onto ART, and ensuring that people do not default on their treatment,” he said.
The Premier noted that this year’s World Aids Day takes place in the midst of Covid-19, a deadly global pandemic that is currently gripping South Africa and KwaZulu-Natal, which now occupied third place.
He said KZN had more than 127,500 cases, with at least 6,200 active cases.