South African Health Minister Strikes New Tone on AIDS
October 14, 2008
On Monday, South Africa's new health minister called for a reinvigorated global effort to develop an HIV/AIDS vaccine. "I'm told that it could take anything from 15 years to a century to get an effective vaccine," Barbara Hogan told the AIDS Vaccine 2008 Conference in Cape Town. "I challenge you to look harder and faster." Hogan also marked the official end to 10 years of AIDS denialism in South Africa by former President Thabo Mbeki and his health minister, Manto Tshabalala-Msimang. "We know that HIV causes AIDS," Hogan said. "It was imperative to get ahead of the curve of this epidemic 10 years ago. We have all lost ground. It's even more imperative now that we make HIV prevention work; we desperately need an effective HIV vaccine." More than half of public hospital admissions in South Africa are AIDS-related, she said, and more than 25 percent of the country's health budget goes to fight the disease. Hogan pledged to support the provision of community-based antiretroviral treatment by nurses and to expand mother-to-child HIV prevention programs.
10.13.2008; Clare Nullis
This article was provided by U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It is a part of the publication CDC HIV/Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update. Visit the CDC's website to find out more about their activities, publications and services.