Cabinet reaffirms Zuma's World AIDS Day message

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Pretoria - Cabinet has reaffirmed President Jacob Zuma's message on World Aids Day, calling on all South Africans to take individual and collective responsibility in the fight against HIV and AIDS.

Speaking at the National World AIDS Day event on Tuesday, Zuma said South Africans should take steps to ensure that they do not become infected with HIV, that they do not infect others and that they know their status.

"Each individual must take responsibility for protection against HIV. To the youth, the future belongs to you. Be responsible and do not expose yourself to risks. Parents and heads of households, let us be open with our children and educate them about HIV and how to prevent it," said the President.

Cabinet, in its ordinary meeting on Wednesday, further raised the need to reiterate and sustain this message as the country unites to revitalise its response to the pandemic.

Zuma announced certain changes in government's policy on HIV and AIDS on Tuesday.

Patients infected with Tuberculosis (TB) and HIV and AIDS will now receive anti-retroviral (ARV) treatment when their CD4 count is at 350 or less. At present, treatment is available when one's CD4 count is less than 200.

He also announced that TB and HIV and AIDS would be treated under one roof and all pregnant women and children under the age of one will receive treatment.