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Friday, 01 December 2017 - Parliament joins the world in commemorating the World Aids Day. This day is an opportunity for people worldwide to unite in the fight against HIV, to show support to people living with HIV, and to commemorate those who have died from an AIDS-related illness.

The theme for this World Aids Day “Let Our Actions Count: It Is My Right To Know My Status, Prevention is my Responsibility” encourages us to make our actions count and take personal and collective responsibility to arrest new HIV infections.

HIV continues to be a major global public health issue, having claimed more than 35 million lives globally so far

In 2016 the total number of people living with HIV/Aids in South Africa was estimated at approximately 7,03 million, however in an effort to try and curb the pandemic the country has put in place the largest HIV treatment programme in the world with more than 3.8 million people in the public health system on treatment.

The commitment to curb the disease is further reflected in the National Development Plan vision 2030 which identifies the combating of HIV/AIDS as one of the key priorities.

The World Aids Day also falls within the 16 Days of Activism for No violence against Women and Children, a worldwide campaign to oppose violence against women and children. The campaign aims to raise awareness of the negative impact that violence and abuse have on women and children and to rid society of abuse permanently.

Parliament encourages all South Africans to heed to the call of knowing their status, be responsible and prevent the spread of the disease. The principles of ABC (Abstain, be faithful and condomise), amongst others, remain the rallying cry for all of us in the battle against HIV and Aids.

ISSUED BY THE PARLIAMENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF SOUTH AFRICA

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