Makhura: COVID makes it tougher for SA to fight HIV/Aids

Premier David Makhura spoke in Duduza earlier on Wednesday using the day to also encourage citizens to get vaccinated.

Gauteng Premier David Makhura commemorating World Aids Day on 1 December 2021 in Duduza. Picture: @GautengProvince/Twitter.

JOHANNESBURG - As South Africa joins the world in commemorating World Aids Day, Gauteng Premier David Makhura said COVID-19 had impacted the entire country's fight against HIV and Aids.

Makhura spoke in Duduza earlier on Wednesday, using the day to also encourage citizens to get vaccinated.

Governments across the world are using World Aids Day to reflect on the strides that have been made to deal with the disease while also factoring in the threat of COVID-19.

With almost 8 million people living with HIV and Aids, South Africa has the highest rate of this virus in the world.

Makhura said this year, it was even tougher because of the province’s rising coronavirus cases driven by the Omicron variant.

“Let’s get it in our heads that COVID has rolled back the fight against HIV/Aids. Firstly, there has been a major disruption due to the reshuffling of all health resources and facilities and we have shifted the focus to COVID-19.”

Makhura said despite this, HIV must be eliminated as a public health threat.