The Treatment Action Campaign has expressed concern at the high number of teenagers and young people dropping out of their HIV treatments.
It wants the government to come up with interventions that target young people who are HIV positive.
The TAC says these campaigns ought to be run by young people who are living with HIV as they understand the struggle better.
Of the 7.6 million people living with HIV in South Africa, 4.8 million are adult women, 2.5 million are men and 300 000 are children.
Observing World Aids Day with Prof Ameena Goga:
The country’s main AIDS Day event will be led by Deputy President David Mabuza in Soweto on Tuesday morning.
Treatment Action Campaign’s chairperson, Sibongile Tshabalala says, “We have lots of young women who were born with HIV, those young people are teenagers, are young adults. We don’t have any programmes that talk to them. What we have learnt over the years is that now we are losing them on treatment because there is no treatment care and support for them.”
“As much as there is something written down on the policy and strategic plan but implementation on the ground is something different. If they are not taking their treatment, it means they will sleep with their peers and the infection rate of HIV will be higher,” explains Tshabalala.
People living with HIV
According to UNAIDS:
- In 2019, there were 38.0 million people living with HIV.
- 36.2 million adults.
- 1.8 million children (0–14 years).
- 81% of all people living with HIV knew their HIV status.
- About 7.1 million people did not know that they were living with HIV.
In her World AIDS Day message, Executive Director Winnie Byanyima says COVID-19 is threatening the progress that the world has made in health and development over the past 20 years, including the gains “we have made against HIV.”
Read the World AIDS Day 2020 message from UNAIDS Executive Director Winnie Byanyima: