Zuma praises success of govt's HIV/Aids treatment programme

President Jacob Zuma said that the number of people testing for HIV has drastically increased since the HIV/Aids programme was rolled out in 2009.

FILE: President Jacob Zuma in Parliament. Picture: GCIS.

CAPE TOWN - President Jacob Zuma has celebrated government's efforts to reduce HIV/Aids transmission.

Delivering the Presidency's budget vote in the National Assembly on Wednesday, Zuma said that the number of people testing for HIV has drastically increased since the HIV/Aids programme was rolled out in 2009.

Zuma says that less than 2 million HIV/Aids tests were conducted in state facilities in 2009.

This figure has now ballooned to more than 14 million people tested last year.

He used his budget vote to encourage more South Africans to be tested for the virus.

"South Africa has the largest HIV treatment programme in the world, with more than 3.8 million people in the public sector on treatment."

Zuma also noted that mother-to-child HIV transmissions have decreased from 70,000 in 2004.

"Due to our very successful prevention of mother-to-child transmission programme, the figure has dramatically dropped to below 6000."

Statistics South Africa has noted that the life expectancy of South Africans has improved from 55 in 2002 to just over 62 now.