SOUTH AFRICA SEES RISE IN HIV INFECTION RATE AMONG YOUNG WOMEN

About 2,000 young women aged between15 and 24 years get infected with HIV each week in South Africa, according to data released by the government and the South African National AIDS Council (SANAC).

The statistics, released at a media briefing in Pretoria Wednesday ahead of the 21st International AIDS Conference to be held in Durban later this month, show that this is the biggest challenge for the government as it tackles the HIV pandemic.

Currently, there are 6.8 million HIV positive people in the country with 3.4 million of them on anti-retroviral (ARV) treatment. The government spends 23 billion Rand (about 1.51 billion US dollars) each year to fight HIV/AIDS.

SANAC Chief Executive Officer Dr Fareed Abdullah said: "We spend more money on HIV in this country than the Global Fund (to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria) spends in the whole of Africa each year.

"The 23 billion Rand is made up of 80 per cent from government with a good split of about 60-40 from the national conditional grant and then provinces also make contributions, especially to TB expenditure, but the US government through it's PEPFAR (President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief ) funding and the Global Fund through it's three-year grants make up the other 20 per cent."

Source: Nam News Network