On December 1, Consul General Frances Chisholm joined provincial and district officials commemorating World AIDS Day 2014 at Ntambanana Municipality in the uThungulu District of KwaZulu-Natal.
Expanding on the theme of “Zero Stigma and Discrimination,”participants took stock of past successes, assessed future challenges, and stressed the need to change social attitudes toward those living with HIV/AIDS.
“The generous financial support of the American people, coupled with the outstanding human resources of the doctors, nurses, pharmacists, assistants and caregivers of KwaZulu-Natal, has helped the province achieve some remarkable progress in combatting HIV/AIDS,” Chisholm noted in her remarks. “I would like to salute the public health sector in KwaZulu-Natal in particular for having reduced the rate of mother-to-child transmission to less than 1.2 percent.
“Partnership is at the core of the President’s Emergency Action Plan for AIDS Relief. We are partnering with you in developing your human resources so that the U.S. may gradually transition to a role of providing technical assistance to South Africa’s public health sector.
“In the meantime, have no doubt, we stand by in support of behavior change communications programs like Brothers for Life and ZAZI; we stand by you in ending sexual and gender-based violence; we stand by you in developing programs to reach populations most at risk and key drivers of the epidemic; and we stand by you in supporting the most vulnerable children, especially AIDS orphans.
“America believes in the possibility of an AIDS-free generation in South Africa, and we are here as your partner today and in the future to help you achieve it.”