Call to use condoms not heeded in SA, says Mbeki

President Thabo Mbeki has stressed that the government’s call on South Africans to be faithful and condomise is not being heeded, the South African Broadcasting Corporation reported on Saturday.

Speaking on World Aids Day, Mbeki said these were important aspects of the government’s Khomanani campaign, considering that there was no cure for Aids.

Mbeki urged all South Africans to participate in events organised to commemorate World Aids Day, such as the Nelson Mandela 46664 concert at Ellis Park in Johannesburg.

The latest public opinion survey released for World Aids Day showed that risky sexual behaviour was increasing. Ipsos Markinor said sexually-active South Africans were not changing their attitude or behaviour in view of the HIV/Aids pandemic, even though millions of rands was being spent on related campaigns.

The research company said there had been a 13% increase in the medium-to-high risk group of sexually active adults since 2002, the broadcaster reported.

One possible explanation for the increase was that they were no longer taking precautions against HIV/Aids.
About six-million South Africans are HIV-positive, it said.

Meanwhile, South Africa aims to slash the rate of HIV/Aids and sexually transmitted diseases infections in half by 2011, Mpumalanga Premier Thabang Makwetla said ahead of World Aids Day.

Speaking at the launch of the Mpumalanga Provincial Aids Council on Friday, Makwetla said the National Strategic Plan on HIV/Aids and sexually transmitted diseases had set bold targets to stem the tide of the HIV/Aids pandemic.

“Among others, we need to ensure that we reduce the number of new infections by 50%, and work hard to reduce the impact of HIV and Aids on individuals, families and communities by expanding access to appropriate treatment, care and support to at least 80 % of all people diagnosed with HIV and Aids.”—Sapa

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