Key Points:

  • The government has an important responsibility in respect of HIV/AIDS epidemic, but this is not and could never be the responsibility of government alone. Unless every citizen takes responsibility for his or her sexual behaviour, the virus will continue to spread no matter what the government does.
  • All governments, including South Africa’s are struggling to address the HIV/AIDS epidemic. Nevertheless, the South African government is fully committed to doing so and has made significant inroads thus far.
  • Government needs to base its prevention programme on the best available medical advice. The world’s leading scientists and South Africa’s leading medical opinion is clear – HIV causes AIDS.
  • The government needs to learn from the mistakes that have been made and do its utmost best from now on to develop a clear policy position and provide firm and unequivocal leadership.
  • The responsibility of political leaders is to communicate clearly and simply what people must do to prevent the spread of AIDS – wear condoms, change their sexual lifestyles and understand how this disease spreads.
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Photo credit: Vittore Buzzi