SOUTH AFRICA – The National Strategic Plan (NSP) for Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV), Tuberculosis (TB) and Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs) 2023-2028 publication has been approved by the South African cabinet.

Minister in the Presidency, Mondli Gungubele, said the NSP proposes to deal with HIV, STIs and TB through a holistic approach that includes preventative and therapeutic measures.

“This is the fifth NSP for HIV, TB and STIs and it outlines the progress South Africa has made to deal with the three diseases thus far,” Gungubele said.

“The five-year plan provides a strategic framework for a multi-sectoral approach that is people-centred to eliminate HIV, TB and STIs as public health threats by 2030.”

The drafting of the NSP was coordinated by the South African National AIDS Council (SANAC), which brings together government, civil society, and other social partners to build consensus and drive a well -coordinated, unified response to the three epidemics over a five-year period.

“The process to develop this fifth iteration of our national plan was extensively consulted across society to secure the widest range of views and ideas, and building on the lessons learnt from our previous plans,” Gungubele added.

“The NSP emphasises the need to break down barriers and maximise equitable and equal access to services through resilient and integrated health systems.”

He noted the inclusion of mental health services and social support is based on the strong association between HIV, TB, and STIs with Gender-Based Violence and Femicide (GBVF), human rights violations and inequalities.

“The new plan features an expanded scope for the management of STIs, including viral hepatitis and Human Papilloma Virus, which are common coinfections in HIV, infected individuals,” the Minister said.

He announced that the full version of the NSP 2023-2028 will be released to the public on World TB Day event to be held on 24 March 2023 at Rustenburg in the North West.

Recent reports have revealed that HIV, tuberculosis (TB) and sexually transmitted infections (STIs) still pose a threat to South Africans.

In response to this threat, the South African National Aids Council (Sanac) co-ordinated the National Strategic Plan (NSP) 2023-2028 for HIV, TB and STIs – a five-year strategy it plans to employ in its attempt to fight the scare posed by these pandemics.

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