In teenagers and women under the age of 25, new HIV infections have been halved.
Nkomfe said this reduction was because people were practicing safe sex by having fewer sexual partners, using condoms and undergoing HIV testing.
“Surprisingly people in Gauteng have fewer sexual partners than those in other provinces. A further reduction in sexual partners, especially in respect of males, remains our key priority,” he said.
However, he noted that unsafe sex was still a major problem and that communities, non-government organisations (NGOs) and government needed to work hard to address this problem.
Since the launch of the HIV Counseling and Testing Campaign in April this year, more than 900 000 people have been tested in Gauteng, with 80 percent of them testing HIV negative.
A worrying factor was the increasing number of young people who were having sex with older men or women in return for food, cash and clothes.
“The phenomenon of sugar daddies and mummies is very prevalent in Gauteng. Clearly we still have a lot of work to do,” Nkomfe said.
Sports Minister Fikile Mbalula, who was also at the event, appealed to the youth to develop an interest in sport, saying it would steer them away from negative elements such as drugs and alcohol, which invariably led to unsafe sex.
“Idle minds breed evil ideas. We want to keep the youth busy with sport so that there is no time for these evil ideas,” he explained.
The minister called on all sectors and every citizen in South Africa to “make HIV/Aids their business,” saying it was not only government’s responsibility.
He appealed to the youth and, in particular, young girls not to be drawn into sexual activity at an early age.
“The future is not in the distant horizon, it is what you practice today…You must take your life and your future into your own hands,” Mbalula added.
It was the responsibility of every individual to know their HIV status, protect their sexual partner, and to be faithful to their partner, he said.
The minister called for increased partnerships between government, communities and NGOs in eradicating the stigma attached to HIV and Aids. – BuaNews