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#WorldAIDSDay: SA has biggest HIV treatment programme in the world

Cyril Ramaphosa says SA is an example of commitment to achieving an aids-free generation.

FILE. More than three million people in the country are currently on antiretroviral treatment, but the Presidency says there is still more to be done to reduce new infections. Picture: Free Images.

JOHANNESBURG - Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa says South Africa, with the biggest HIV treatment programme in the world, is an example of the country's commitment to achieving an aids-free generation.

Today marks World AIDS Day.

More than 3 million people in the country are currently on antiretroviral treatment, but the Presidency says there's still more to be done to reduce new infections.

Ramaphosa has urged South African's to build on the progress that has already been made around HIV and AIDS education and treatment.

He says social awareness has helped reduce the stigma once associated with the virus and is seeing more people accessing treatment.

Experts have however raised concerns about the rate of new infections, particularly among young women.

A report released by Unicef last week revealed that girls aged between 15 and 19 in sub-Saharan Africa have one of the highest rates of AIDS-related deaths.

Ramaphosa says South Africa now needs to work on strengthening prevention measures and encouraging more people to know their HIV status.

To read 10 facts about HIV/AIDS, _ click here_.

Meanwhile, the Western Cape Health Department will receive almost R300 million over the next three years to help in the fight against HIV/AIDS.

The department will today launch a new strategy in line with the World Health Organisation (WHO)'s goal of an AIDS-free generation by 2030.

The WHO says more than 36 million people are living with the disease worldwide.

The department says it will receive he portion of the multimillion rand grant from the global fund in April.

It says the money will be aimed mainly at HIV/AIDS prevention initiatives for girls and young women.

MEC Nomafrench Mbombo is in Khayelitsha this morning, where health screenings and other services will be offered.

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