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South Africa ‘Witnessing First Steps Of AIDS-Free Generation’

In this Business Day opinion piece, Donald Gips, the U.S. ambassador to South Africa, examines progress made in the country’s fight against HIV/AIDS, writing that, through the coordination of governments, civil society, nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), educational institutions, and researchers from around the world, “we now have the tools that allow us for the first time to set the goal of achieving an AIDS-free generation — when virtually no children are born with the virus; we have effective and comprehensive education and prevention strategies that help to reduce risk; and those who are infected with HIV have access to treatment that helps prevent them from developing AIDS and transmitting the virus.”

Gips highlights progress made in the country with the help of PEPFAR and the U.S. Global Health Initiative and notes, “Today, [South Africa] has prioritized the transitioning of ownership of the full HIV/AIDS national response to the government, including treatment and care of HIV-infected and affected patients.” He concludes, “Together, and driven by South African leadership, we are making huge strides across the prevention, education, treatment and care spectrum. … We are witnessing the first step of an AIDS-free generation, happening here, now, in [South Africa]” (11/30).