South Africa HIV testing campaign reaches 6 mln people

22:20, February 14, 2011      

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Nearly 6 million people have been reached in South Africa's HIV/AIDS testing and counseling program launched last year, the country's health minister Aaron Motsoaledi said on Monday.

According to the South African Press Association (SAPA), South Africa is the worst affected country in the world with about 5.7 million people living with the virus that causes AIDS.

Speaking at the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg on Monday at the launch of a testing campaign targeting first year university students, Motsoaledi said there is heightened awareness of the necessity for all South Africans to get tested.

He said the South Africa is progressing well. "We have now reached close to six million people."

The campaign, launched with South African President Jacob Zuma getting tested last year, runs through to June 2011.

Motsoaledi said it is important for South Africans to continue getting tested throughout their lifetime, long after the campaign concluded.

Testing for HIV/AIDS has to be done regularly and is not just a "once off thing," the minister said.

He explained that the South African university campaign, a public, private partnership, will target first year students at 18 campuses across the country.

The South African health minister said he hoped the program would be an annual feature of the orientation week at various universities.

Source: Xinhua
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