A total of 72 279 people tested HIV positive, with 42 262 being referred for treatment.
“We really need to revisit our approach and ensure that we encourage preventive activities. We cannot sustain a department, let alone the country’s health system, through curative approaches,” Masike said.
The province aims to test one million people out of its population of at least 3.2 million by the end of campaign next June.
The MEC called on all those who have tested negative to share with others how they have managed to maintain their negative status, while emphasizing the need to build strong community based support systems for those who are living with the virus.
“We need to move away from blame to care … from being scared communities, we need to support each other and stop … being judgmental. Our approach needs to be rights based and ensure that the rights of all citizens are respected,” he said.
He urged everyone who has not yet done so to go and get tested.
Meanwhile, Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality (NMBM) launched a series of programmes on Wednesday.
Staff in the various municipal directorates commemorated World Aids Day in a variety of ways, including lighting candles, observing a minute’s silence in memory of those who died of Aids and in support of those infected by HIV, saying a prayer and handing out red ribbons.
The metro has set a target of testing 372 000 of its 1.1 million residents by June 2011.
Lamenting the impact the epidemic has had on South Africans, NMBM mayor Zanoxolo Wayile said: “A tragic reality of our society is the high number of child-headed families created by the loss of parents due to the pandemic.
“The Municipality also assists in this regard with a programme to provide qualifying children with school uniforms and writing materials to encourage them to stay on at school and continue their education.”
He encouraged the business fraternity and government in the metro to keep working together to fight the scourge. - BuaNews