This would help achieve a zero infection rate by the year 2030, minister Aaron Motsoaledi announced at the closing ceremony of the SA Aids Conference at Inkosi Albert Luthuli Convention Centre in Durban. He said the department had noticed a gap in the fight against the pandemic – young people were left out of programmes to fight Aids.
Motsoaledi added the programme would focus on adolescents because these age groups had been overlooked. The department would launch a programme that would provide information about HIV, sexually transmitted diseases, abortions and other health issues.
It would also provide a chat room for conversations to take place. “I am committing myself to be actively involved in the discussions and I promise to avail myself to conduct face-to-face discussions about adolescence issues and answer questions that the users might have,” he said.
Some health issues, such as HIV, that the country was working at rectifying were the result of mistakes made during adolescence, said Motsoaledi. As the four-day conference came to a close, the minister said some of the resolutions which came out of the discussions included that “we should tackle areas where the virus comes from and where the virus is likely to come from.
“Some of the resolutions were that we need to strengthen HIV/Aids initiatives with sex workers and truck drivers, [as they are some] of the carriers of the virus,” he said. Motsoaledi said his department would launch interventions before the end of this month, focusing on workers in the sex and transport industries.
“No more waiting periods and time to waste, plans and implementations need to be done now. I encourage each and every one to work together in order to reach the 2030 zero infection rate goal.”