Africa accounted for nearly 70% of people living with HIV around the world in 2011. With little access to treatment, little sex education or access to condoms, and a high level of stigma, South Africa has experience some of the highest percentages of new HIV infections. South African President Jacob Zuma hopes to change this.
At the Campaign for Accelerated Reduction of Maternal Mortality in Africa (CARMMA), President Zuma joined over 15 other Heads of State to review and reflect upon past initiatives to reduce maternal mortality. With HIV contributing to 40% of maternal and child deaths in South Africa, this was a targeting point for Zuma.
South Africa made substantial gains against HIV and AIDS in 2012 by dropping new infections by 50% in 13 countries, and Zuma wants to maintain that ground by increasing access to condoms, medication, and antiretroviral treatment.
Leaders reflected on past successes, like the “Roadmap on Shared Responsibility and Global Solidarity” initiative adopted by the African Union. This initiative developed a new course in dealing with TB, Malaria, and AIDS by optimizing returns from AIDS investments, increasing the ability to manufacture medication, and strengthening accountability.
As leaders continue to publicly take a stand against HIV and AIDS, Africa continues to leave a path of tragedy to a future full of hope. To stay up to date with the latest news about HIV and AIDS, visit HIV Advocates online. Get your daily dose of advocacy stories, advice, and inspiration.
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