The South African National AIDS Council has been inundated with requests from the media to respond to the letter from former President Thabo Mbeki on his Facebook page published this morning.
The leadership of SANAC advises the nation against a debate that will take us back to a fractious past and can only serve as a distraction. South Africa has the largest antiretroviral treatment programme in the world. This is something we should all be proud of as a nation. We also have one of the most effective programmes to prevent the transmission of HIV from mother to child during pregnancy, childbirth and the breast feeding period. This is due to the rollout of the antiretroviral treatment programme.
We have adopted the 90 90 90 strategy of UNAIDS and the WHO and continue to address all aspects of the National Strategic Plan. Our advice is to focus on the challenges that we have and we do not want to be distracted by irrelevant debate.
We need to continue the good work of collaboration on such programmes between government departments, civil society and donors through the structures of SANAC at national, provincial and local level. Government remains committed to the National Strategic Plan for HIV, TB and STIs as approved by SANAC and the Cabinet in 2012.
In July this year, the International AIDS Conference will return to Durban after 16 years. We call on all South Africans involved in the work to control HIV and TB to unite around our common achievements and to recommit to the new and on-going challenges that we face. These are the only issues to discuss.
Dr Fareed Abdullah
Chief Executive Officer
South African National AIDS Council
For more information, contact Kanya Ndaki, Communications Manager SANAC 0832986100