DURBAN – As new HIV infections rise in the city, the eThekwini Metropolitan Municipality has launched a special initiative to reduce the rate of new HIV infections among the youth in the city on Tuesday, becoming the first city in the KZN province to launch the HIV/AIDS, TB and STI Behavioral Campaign Programme.
Many patients abandoned their treatment during the COVID-19 pandemic for fear of visiting local clinics and hospitals to collect their medication. The municipality also noted an increase of new cases, mostly amongst girls and women between the ages of 15 and 24, during this period.
Speaking at the launch of the programme, at the Cato Crest Community Hall, eThekwini Metropolitan Municipality Mayor Mxolisi Kaunda said that the City aims to reduce new infections and track patients who have discontinued their treatments.
“We want to nip new infections in the bud and increase our efforts to track defaulters and get them back on treatment. eThekwini is the epicentre of HIV in the province but we have seen a decrease in the number of people on anti-retroviral treatment,” he said.
“This programme is one of the ways we want to accelerate our programme of providing post-exposure prophylaxis in all health facilities and Thuthuzela Centres.”
Julie Alli spoke to Babalwa Moon, former Mentor Mother and currently the Project Officer for M2M South Africa, on News & Views. Listen to the full discussion here: