News / Africa

South Africans Praise Latest HIV/AIDS Testing Campaign

South African President Zuma waves as he arrives to declare his HIV-negative status during launch of the HIV Counselling and Testing Campaign held at Natalspruit Hospital in Katlehong, 25 April 2010
South African President Zuma waves as he arrives to declare his HIV-negative status during launch of the HIV Counselling and Testing Campaign held at Natalspruit Hospital in Katlehong, 25 April 2010

Multimedia

Audio

South African leaders are praising President Jacob Zuma's new campaign to test nearly one-third of the population for HIV/AIDS in a country with the highest number of HIV victims in the world.

Leaders of the country's opposition political parties, labor unions and health-care professions praised President Zuma for launching an ambitious program to test 15 million South Africans for the HIV/AIDS virus by June of next year.

In announcing the program, Mr. Zuma said many people are afraid to be tested because of the stigma associated with HIV.  In South Africa the virus, which weakens the immune system, is transmitted primarily through unsafe sex.

"We have to work harder together to fight the perceptions and the stigma," he said.  "We have to make all South Africans understand that people living with HIV have not committed any crime."

He said the country's 4,300 clinics and hospitals are ready to provide HIV testing and counseling to all.  And he said the number of facilities supplying anti-retroviral drugs used to combat AIDS would be doubled from 500 to 1,000.

He appealed to retired health-care professionals to help in the campaign.

Under the plan, the government would also triple the number of condoms distributed each year to 1.5 billion.

In South Africa an estimated 5.7 million people, or 11 percent of the total population, are infected with HIV.

In a move to encourage more South Africans to be tested, the South African president publicly announced the results of his latest HIV test.

"My April results, like the three previous ones, registered a negative outcome for the HIV virus," Mr. Zuma said.

But he went on to underscore the decision to be tested for HIV remained a voluntary and confidential, individual choice.

HIV activists have praised Mr. Zuma for breaking publicly in his first year of office with the policies of his predecessor, former President Thabo Mbeki who was accused of failing to respond adequately to the HIV pandemic.

But the 68-year-old Mr. Zuma, who has three wives, has come under criticism for his personal lifestyle.

He was acquitted in a 2006 rape trial, during which he admitted having unsafe sex with an HIV-positive woman, and he came under political pressure recently when it emerged that he fathered a child out of wedlock last year.

You May Like

Ebola Death Toll Nears 5,000 as Virus Advances

West Africa bears heaviest burden; Mali toddler’s death raises new fears More

Jordan’s Battle With Islamic State Militants Carries Domestic Risks

Despite Western concerns that IS militants are preparing a Jordanian offensive, analysts call the kingdom's solid intel a strong deterrent More

Asian-Americans Assume Office in Record Numbers

Steadily deepening engagement in local politics pays off for politicians like Chinese-American Judy Chu More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukrainei
X
Al Pessin
October 25, 2014 4:21 PM
Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukraine

Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Smugglers Offer Cheap Passage From Turkey to Syria

Smugglers in Turkey offer a relatively cheap passage across the border into Syria. Ankara has stepped up efforts to stem the flow of foreign fighters who want to join Islamic State militants fighting for control of the Syrian border city of Kobani. But porous borders and border guards who can be bribed make illegal border crossings quite easy. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Comanche Chief Quanah Parker’s Century-Old House Falling Apart

One of the most fascinating people in U.S. history was Quanah Parker, the last chief of the American Indian tribe, the Comanche. He was the son of a Comanche warrior and a white woman who had been captured by the Indians. Parker was a fierce warrior until 1875 when he led his people to Fort Sill, Oklahoma, and took on a new, peaceful life. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Cache, Oklahoma, Quanah’s image remains strong among his people, but part of his heritage is in danger of disappearing.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.
Video

Video US ‘Death Cafes’ Put Focus on the Finale

In contemporary America, death usually is a topic to be avoided. But the growing “death café” movement encourages people to discuss their fears and desires about their final moments. VOA’s Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Ebola Orphanage Opens in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone's first Ebola orphanage has opened in the Kailahun district. Hundreds of children orphaned since the beginning of the Ebola outbreak face stigma and rejection with nobody to care for them. Adam Bailes reports for VOA about a new interim care center that's aimed at helping the growing number of children affected by Ebola.

All About America

AppleAndroid