24 October 2012
NEHAWU welcomes the announcement by the researchers at the Centre for Aids Programme Research, that they have discovered the antibodies that could neutralise the HIV virus.
Whilst, this advance is not the first of its kind, it occurred in Kenya some years ago, we are happy that for the first time in South Africa; the antibodies that can kill 90% of the known strains of HIV have been isolated.
We view this as a welcome step and an advance in the battle to ultimately find a solution to the HIV pandemic.
It is encouraging to see that some progress is being made through scientific research to attempt to develop a vaccine that prompts the body`s immune system to make broadly neutralising antibodies.
We also welcome the preparedness by the government to provide additional funding for an initiative of this nature which could provide a more permanent solution to the HIV pandemic than simply providing antiretroviral drugs.
Our union welcomes the government’s efforts to overturn the previous ambiguous HIV /Aids message that sabotaged the fight against HIV.
This initiative has been made possible by the change in attitude by the government under President Jacob Zuma and Minister Aaron Motsoaledi, who acknowledged the HIV pandemic and also made available additional funding to provide access to treatment, including drugs, to all who require them.
It is encouraging to hear that the HIV/AIDS programme that is in place now has assisted in growing the Life expectancy from 52 years to 60 years.
There has also been a reported sharp decline in infant mortality and in the transmission of mother-to-child HIV transmission.
We also reiterate the call by the minister for all people to continue to use condoms and live responsibly.
Issued by NEHAWU Secretariat Office
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Norman Mampane (Communications Officer)
Congress of South African Trade Unions
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