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Thu Sep 18 21:49:15 SAST 2014

R40m for circumcision programmes

Sapa | 27 October, 2010 14:300 Comments

The provinces' male circumcision programmes are to get a R40 million boost in the current financial year, as part of the fight against Aids.

According to the Medium-Term Budget Policy Statement tabled on Wednesday, the money is part of an extra R100 million to scale up HIV and Aids prevention.

The rest of the money - listed as "unforeseeable and unavoidable expenditure" -- will go on condoms.

The World Health Organisation says there is compelling evidence that male circumcision reduces the risk of heterosexually-acquired HIV infection in men by about 60 percent.

KwaZulu-Natal recently embarked on a major circumcision drive, using the controversial Tara KLamp.

The R100 million brings the total HIV/Aids and sexually transmitted diseases budget for 2010/11 to R6.6 billion.

The statement said an extra R1.5 billion would be added to the national and provincial governments' comprehensive HIV and Aids programme over the next three years "to meet increased demand for related services".

It said data from the department of health's 2009 antenatal survey showed that the HIV infection rate was levelling off.

"HIV prevention and treatment programmes are expanding rapidly and will continue to be prioritised," it said.

"The antiretroviral programme is adding more than 300,000 people to treatment each year, and this is likely to rise to 400,000 new entrants a year over the medium term."

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