Ramaphosa praises private sector's fight against HIV

Ramaphosa was speaking at the launch of the International Aids Conference 2016.

FILE: Cyril Ramaphosa companies have been pivotal in providing treatment and reducing stigmas in the work place.

JOHANNESBURG - Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa has praised the private sector for the role it's played in the fight against HIV and AIDS.

Ramaphosa says private companies have been pivotal in providing treatment and reducing stigmas in the work place.

Speaking at the launch of the International Aids Conference 2016 in Parktown, he outlined how far South Africa has come in the 16 years since the event was last held on home soil.

Ramaphosa says although South Africa was previously in denial with regard to HIV and AIDS pandemic, the country has now embraced pandemic and continues to research ways to stop it spreading.

He says the country is leading on many fronts with over two million South Africans now on antiretroviral treatment.

"We did go through stages of wanting to hide our heads in the sand, lack of transparency but we've gone over that.

The deputy president has also praised private companies that provide medication to employees and offer emotional support to their families.

The conference will run for six days in July 2016 in Durban, a year after the deadline for the 2015 Millennium Development Goal (MDG) to halt the spread of the disease.