Durex reaffirms its call for South Africans to #PledgeSafeSex, as the country works towards achieving the goals set out by the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS)’s 90-90-90 strategy. Which is why Durex has partnered with Dischem so that communities can get tested.
For the month of December, South Africans will have the opportunity to have free HIV testing from World Aids Day until 31st December, when buying a Durex product. The public is invited to join Dr Sindi van Zyl at Maponya Mall on December 14th at 10am to 12pm.
South Africa is committed to achieving the UNAIDS 90–90–90 Fast-Track targets by 2020, in which:
- 90% of HIV positive people know their status;
- 90% of those who are HIV-positive receive antiretroviral treatment (ART);
- 90% of those on treatment have an undetectable viral load.
South Africa has the largest HIV epidemic (in absolute numbers) of people infected in any country, with an estimated 6.4 million people living with the disease. It is estimated that one-fifth of women in their reproductive years are HIV-positive – 19% of women aged 15 to 49 years (19%). 16.6% of adult men and women aged 15 to 49 are infected, as are 5.6% of young people aged 15 to 24, and 2.4% of children aged 0 to 14 years.
UNAIDS notes that, according to the latest Thembisa estimates, South Africa reached 90–68–88 by mid-2018. Among all South Africans living with HIV, the total viral load suppression was at 55%, 18 percentage points below the target of 73%.
So, while South Africa is making valuable progress, more is needed in order to reach the 90-90-90 goals by 2020.
Low ART coverage and reduced use of condoms are among the factors that are hampering progress, according to the lead developer of Thembisa’s model, Leigh Johnson.
Durex continues to advocate for improved sexual health, responsible sexual behaviour and the use of condoms. In partnership with SANAC, Durex will hold several activations throughout December, where they will be host HIV testing stations.
“It is critical that South Africans are tested and know their status so that they can receive treatment and suppress their viral load, both so that they remain healthy and to prevent further spread of the virus,” says Dr Sindi van Zyl, Durex’s Key Opinion Leader. “We, therefore, encourage people to make use of these events to get tested, get condoms and #PledgeSafeSex.”
“Everyone who is sexually active must be aware of the risks and practice safe sex. Spread the word and not the disease!” van Zyl added.