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Commemorating World AIDS Day on a positive note
3 December 2012
As 1 December marked yet another World Aids Day, Democratic Nursing Organisation of South Africa (DENOSA) notes the heart-warming progress the country has made so far in advancing the fight against HIV and AIDS and especially the positive impact of anti-retroviral treatment on the country’s most killer disease.
The most recent statistics from the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAids), which were released just a few days before World Aids Day, indicate that South Africa has increased its provision of ARVs by 75% over the past two years, and that new HIV/AIDS infections have been cut by 41% since 2001.
Furthermore, HIV-related deaths have also been cut by over 50 000 over the last two years, which are clear signs of success in the fight against HIV/AIDS.
In particular, DENOSA would like to congratulate nurses for taking the lead in the role of dispensing ARVs, whereas in the past their role was merely relegated to a supportive one.
“Nurses are the backbone and face of the health system in this country. When things don’t work well they are the ones who shoulder the most blame,” said DENOSA President, Dorothy Matebeni.
“But the challenges the country faces mean that they still need to go beyond their call of duty, while acknowledging the need for development in keeping up with the latest developments in the health sector so that they are able to deal with these illnesses.”
While DENOSA takes pride in the work done by nurses in the fight against the epidemic, it acknowledges that more still needs to be done to bring the rate of HIV/AIDS infections to acceptable levels. This is because South Africa constitutes no more than 2% of the world’s population, and yet its HIV/AIDS infection rate makes up 25% of the world’s HIV cases.
It is still necessary to call on all people to keep the basics of healthy living. These include regular testing for HIV and other diseases, regular exercises in fighting non-communicable diseases and healthy diets.
Communications Manager, DENOSA
Cell: 079 875 2663