June 14, 2017

A sex worker’s view on South Africa’s latest plans to beat HIV

Written by Susann Huschke

This post originally appeared on Times Live.

South Africa recently launched a five-year plan to improve the country’s response to HIV, TB and sexually transmitted infections.

The plan was deemed necessary because of the persistently high rates of infections – the country has the highest TB and HIV rates in the world.

Sex workers are critical to the plan because HIV prevalence among them is extremely high. Research shows that more than half the female sex workers in South Africa’s three largest cities are HIV positive – but less than one-third are on antiretroviral treatment.

Crucial to the plan’s success is the ability of the country to meet two particular goals: implementing the 90:90:90 strategy for HIV (that 90% of people living with HIV know their status, 90% of all people with diagnosed HIV infection receive sustained antiretroviral therapy and 90% of all people receiving antiretroviral therapy are virally suppressed).

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