Halve TB in HIV positive people- Motsoaledi
Pretoria - Health Minister, Dr Aaron Motsoaledi, has welcomed the proposed initiative intended to halve TB in people living with HIV by 2015.
Speaking at the 18th Stop TB Partnership Coordinating Board meeting held in Hanoi, Vietnam, Motsoaledi said government and civil society organisations have joined forces to respond decisively to the TB and HIV/AIDS joint epidemics through the recently launched HIV Counselling and Testing (HCT) campaign.
"The objective to increase political commitment and resource mobilisation for HIV and TB integration and the support to countries most affected by HIV and TB to develop specific plans to reduce the HIV and TB burdens is most welcome," Motsoaledi said on Tuesday.
The Stop TB Partnership and Joint United Nations Programme have strengthened their joint response to HIV and TB co-infection and agreed on a compact intended to halve TB deaths in people living with HIV by 2015.
He said TB is among the targeted conditions to be addressed and receiving attention through the campaign, which is an intervention that will mobilise all sectors of communities to join in the fight against HIV and AIDS.
"South Africans will be screened for TB and other chronic ailments, including hypertension and diabetes, we expect to find an additional 1.6 million new HIV positive cases and about 100 000 new TB cases," said Dr Motsoaledi.
The campaign hopes to get 15 million people tested for HIV by June 2011.
As part of a social mobilisation campaign 'Kick TB 2010' launched in March during TB month, 250 000 soccer balls illustrating different TB symptoms including weight-loss, coughing, night-sweats, loss of appetite and chest pain, are being distributed amongst primary school learners.
The campaign hopes to have more TB knowledgeable population of young people who will serve as agents for education and information to the South African community to assist in the fight against TB.