/ 10 September 2007

SA’s Aids plan on track, says deputy president

The South African National Aids Council is on track with its National Strategic Plan on HIV and Aids, which would see the halving of new infections by 2011, Deputy President Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka said on Monday.

She chaired the first meeting of the newly constituted council in Pretoria, which officially brings together the government and civil society in the fight against HIV/Aids.

The meeting received reports on the implementation of the National Strategic Plan for HIV/Aids, which has a primary goal to cut HIV infections by 50% by 2011.

While some departments and sectors had already developed implementation plans and programmes to tackle the pandemic, many were still in a draft stage, the meeting heard.

”There will be work in progress, even till 2011. I don’t think on day one anyone thought that everything we need to do will be in place,” Mlambo-Ngcuka said.

”We are on track,” she added.

Mark Haywood of the Treatment Action Campaign, who was elected deputy chairperson of the council, said: ”There is momentum, there is seriousness [and] all of us need to pay attention to make sure the momentum is not lost.”

The council was relaunched in May after it was restructured to strengthen the implementation of the comprehensive HIV and Aids programme.

It would meet again in November, and a review of the National Strategic Plan would be done next year, the deputy president said. — Sapa