As South Africa and the world mark another Aids Day tomorrow, it is comforting to know that many lives have been saved through access to antiretroviral treatment.
It is however heart-wrenching that the number of people infected has escalated from 4,25 million in 2002 to 7,52 million in 2018. In as much as we have seen the decline in AIDS-related deaths between 2007 and 2018 of more than 160 000, the number of infected individuals is extremely worrisome. It is clear that there is still a long way to go to eradicate HIV/AIDS.
In many parts of the country, especially in rural and afar villages, many still have difficulties in accessing ARVs and it is incumbent on government to ease access to lifesaving drugs.
Government must intensify its awareness campaigns as vulnerable South Africans, especially poor women and children, still bear the brunt of this scourge.
We each have a responsibility to let our actions count. The United Democratic Movement (UDM) therefore continues its call, to young and old, to protect themselves and those they love. Know your and your partner’s HIV status, be faithful, condomise and take your medication as required.
It is each and everyone’s dream to see South Africa and the world beating this pandemic and the UDM encourages all South Africans to care about this serious issue and to change their behaviour.
Mr Bongani Msomi
UDM Secretary General