Government intends to introduce a new HIV/Aids and TB treatment combination  in 2018 that will assist in decreasing the spread of the pandemic.

This has been announced by Sanac chairperson and deputy president Cyril Ramaphosa at the World Aids Day commemoration held at the Walter Sisulu University Stadium in Mthatha in the Eastern Cape.

He says the country plans to test and treat at least more than 6 million people living with HIV/AIDS by the year 2020.

Currently, South Africa has 7 million people who are living with the disease, and 4.2 million of those are already on ARV treatment.

Ramaphosa says the efforts of government and other social partners in the fight against HIV/AIDS have yielded good results as the country has implemented the biggest HIV treatment programme in the world.

He says their main objective is to increase the number of people who are getting ARV’s to more than 6.2 million people.

“We want to give up to 7 million of the people who are infected the medication they need. But there’s still some way to go because we still have a lot of work to do. We will be introducing a new treatment combination from April 2018.”

Ramaphosa says new infections are coming down but the rate of coming down is very slow. He has urged society to work harder to prevent new infections by practicing safe sex.

“We had an estimated 270 000 new infections in 2016 and the target is to reduce these to no more than 88 000 by 2020.”

The government is encouraged by many people who are coming forward to get tested for HIV/AIDS.

Health minister Aaron Motsoaledi has encouraged people to get tested for the virus.

“We are in a program called test and treat in South Africa whereby everybody who test immediately they are HIV positive we must not wait we must give them ARV’s.”

Scores of maidens who are part of the virginity testing programme known as Inkciyo came in their numbers to encourage other young girls to abstain to avoid contracting the disease.

A 13 year old girl from Qandu village in Port St Johns Zininzi Ndamase says abstaining is the only option.

“I have been with Inkciyo for three years; it helps me because when we don’t sleep with boys we don’t get HIV/AIDS.”

Motsoaledi says in 2018 his department seeks to  launch a programme that will trace the more than two million people living with HIV who are not yet on the ARV programme.

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