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

Could Nemtsov Threaten Putin in Death as in Life?

Dynamic and debonair opposition leader had supported liberal economic reforms, criticized Russian president's aggression in Ukraine More

Oil Smuggling Highlights Challenges in Shutting Down IS Finances

Pentagon spokesman says Islamic State 'certainly continues to get revenue from the oil industry black market' but that airstrikes have made a dent More

India Focuses on Infrastructure, Investment to Propel Economy

Government expects economy to grow at 8 to 8.5 percent in next fiscal year 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.
US Supreme Court Hears Hijab Discrimination Casei
X
Katherine Gypson
February 25, 2015 11:30 PM
The U.S. Supreme Court has heard opening arguments in a workplace religious discrimination case that examines whether a clothing store can refuse to hire a young woman for wearing the headscarf she says is a symbol of her Muslim faith. Katherine Gypson reports from the Supreme Court.
Video

Video US Supreme Court Hears Hijab Discrimination Case

The U.S. Supreme Court has heard opening arguments in a workplace religious discrimination case that examines whether a clothing store can refuse to hire a young woman for wearing the headscarf she says is a symbol of her Muslim faith. Katherine Gypson reports from the Supreme Court.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Hurt Nascent Illinois Hydraulic Fracturing Industry

Falling oil prices are helping consumers purchase cheaper petroleum at the pump. But that’s made hydraulic fracturing or “fracking” less economically viable for the companies in the United States invested in the process. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports on one Midwestern town that was hoping to change its fortunes by cashing in on the next big U.S. oil boom.
Video

Video Fighting in Sudan's South Kordofan Fuels Mass Displacement

Heavy fighting in Sudan's South Kordofan state is causing hundreds of thousands to flee into uncertain conditions. Local aid organizations estimate as many as 400,000 civilians have been internally displaced since the conflict began more than three years ago, while another 250,000 have fled across the border to refugee camps in South Sudan. VOA's Adam Bailes reports.
Video

Video Lao Dam Project Runs Into Opposition

A Lao dam project on a section of the Mekong River is drawing opposition from local fishermen, international environmental groups and neighboring countries. VOA's Say Mony visited the region to investigate the concerns. Colin Lovett narrates.
Video

Video A Filmmaker Discovers Her Biracial Identity in "Little White Lie

Lacey Schwartz grew up in an upper middle-class Jewish family, in a town in upstate New York where almost everyone she knew was white. She assumed that she was, as well. Her recent documentary, Little White Lie, tells the story of how she uncovered the secret of her true racial background. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more on the film.
Video

Video Deep Under Antarctic Ice Sheet, Life!

With the end of summer in the Southern hemisphere, the Antarctic research season is over. Scientists from Northern Illinois University are back in their laboratory after a 3-month expedition on the Ross Ice Shelf, the world’s largest floating ice sheet. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, they hope to find clues to explain the dynamics of the rapidly melting ice and its impact on sea level rise.
Video

Video US-Cuba Normalization Talks Resume Friday

Negotiations aimed at normalizing diplomatic relations between the U.S. and Cuba resume Friday. On the table: lifting a half-century trade embargo and easing banking and travel restrictions. There's opposition in Congress, but some analysts say there may be sufficient political and economic incentives in both nations for a potential breakthrough this year. VOA's Mil Arcega reports.
Video

Video Pakistan's Deadline For SIM Registration Has Cellphone Users Scrambling

Pakistani cell phone users have until midnight Thursday to register their SIM cards, or their service will be cut off. While some privacy experts worry about government intrusion, many Pakistanis are just worried about keeping their phone lines open. VOA Deewa reporter Arshad Muhmand has more from Peshawar.
Video

Video Myanmar Warns Factory Workers to End Strikes

Outside Myanmar's main city Yangon, thousands of workers walked off their jobs earlier this month demanding a doubling of their wages, pay raises after a year and input from labor unions on industrial regulations. Since Friday, the standoff has grown more tense as police moved in to disrupt the sit-ins, resulting in clashes that injured people from both sides. VOA correspondent Steve Herman visited industrial zones which have become a focus of Myanmar's fledgling workers rights movement.
Video

Video Oscar Winners Do More Than Thank the Academy

The Academy Awards presentation is Hollywood’s night to reward the best movies from the previous year. It’s typically a lot of glitter, a lot of thank you’s, a lot of speeches. But many of this year’s speeches carried messages beyond the thank you's. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti takes a look.

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More