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November 6, 2009

South African Health Minister Supports Country’s HIV Policy Shift

South African health minister Aaron Motsoaledi reiterated that the government, including President Jacob Zuma, is devoted to helping fight HIV/AIDS, Times LIVE reports. Motsoaledi spoke during a conference in Midrand, a section of Johannesburg, about living with HIV/AIDS.

On October 28, Zuma denounced the AIDS denialist policies of his predecessor, Thabo Mbeki, and vowed to make preventing and treating HIV/AIDS a top priority.

According to medical journal The Lancet, South Africa accounts for 0.7 percent of the global population, yet accounts for 17 percent of the world’s HIV cases. “We need to come out with guns blazing to fight this scourge,” Motsoaledi said. “We’ll only win when we stand together as government…as civil society.”

The minister called for a massive campaign of voluntary counseling and testing. Motsoaledi also promised that Zuma will participate in World AIDS Day, which is December 1. It will mark the first time that a South African president has led World AIDS Day events.

Search: South Africa, Aaron Motsoaledi, Jacob Zuma, Midrand, Johannesburg

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