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'SA turns corner in HIV fight'

Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi cautioned South Africans not to become complacent.

Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi. Picture: EWN

CAPE TOWN - South Africa's success in tackling the HIV/Aids pandemic should not lead to complacency, Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi said on Wednesday.

He made the comments during his budget vote speech in Parliament, Cape Town.

The minister said training nurses to administer antiretroviral (ARVs) helped to double the number of people receiving treatment from 923,000 in 2010 to 1,9 million in 2013.

Motsoaledi added the cost of ARV treatment dropped dramatically.

"We are now able to treat many more people per month with the amount of money that we used to treat one person in 2009."

He said this was not the time to relax efforts.

"I have one very serious request to make. Having turned the corner should not be regarded as a signal for South Africans to be complacent. We still have a very long road to travel with HIV and TB."

On Tuesday, Statistics South Africa revealed that one in 10 South Africans was HIV positive.

According to statistics, around 200,000 people will die of HIV/Aids in 2013.

Approximately 17 percent of those infected with the virus are women and around eight percent are between the ages of 15-24.

Life expectancy in South Africa has improved since the new HIV/Aids strategy was rolled out three years ago.