Xolani's Daily Comment

Save the Treatment Action Campaign!

As South Africa prepares to host the International Aids Conference in July 2016, experts are concerned about higher new infection rates among women, sex workers and drug users.

Speaking at the launch of the 2016 International Aids Conference Dr Olive Shisana, CEO of the Human Sciences Research Council, said South Africa needed a back-to-basics approach to continue fighting the HIV/Aids crisis.

Shisana said HIV among sex workers was running at 60% and infections varied depending on race.

South Africa has certainly made great strides against HIV in the last few years. Two million people are on treatment; life expectancy has increased by ten years. But what worries me is that much of this progress was achieved as a result of the relentless pressure of one civil society group, the Treatment Action Campaign.

Which is why I'm worried when I again see reports in the newspapers today about TAC's financial woes and possible closure if it doesn't raise R10 million in the next month. Is AIDS over? Can we all relax? Is it time for TAC to pack its bags? Surely not.

Not when there are still 1000 new HIV infections a day and when over 200,000 people a year still die of AIDS. Surely not when we hear stories of clinics without medicines, and growing numbers of people who have stopped taking their treatment.

Come on South Africa; AIDS is not over, the job is only half done! Let's stand up and show our support for organizations like the Treatment Action Campaign. Let's show we still care about HIV and the lives of all the people around us."

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