Mabuza said this when he delivered the closing address at the four-day conference of the 9th South African Aids Conference which ended in Durban on Friday themed “Unprecedented Innovations and Technologies: HIV and Change.”
“The theme of the conference is therefore appropriate that we must innovate and use technology at all levels to bring about sustainable change in our responses to HIV and Aids,” the deputy president said of the biannual forum which started in 2003.
While the country’s comprehensive HIV response was hailed as a success, to make serious headway it needs to prevent new infections of the virus, Mabuza said, noting it is estimated that there are 250,000 new infections annually in the country.
“Our target is to get below 100,000 new infections by December 2020. This gap is big and it must be closed,” he said.
The four-day conference at the Inkosi Albert Luthuli International Convention Centre in Durban focused on the scientific, social and digital innovations or technologies which could assist with the control of the HIV and Aids epidemic.
According to the University of Cape Town research, there are nearly 7.4 million South Africans who are HIV positive.
The figure for people living with HIV that are on treatment is set at 4.9 million, and the government plans to get another two million people on ARVs by December 2020.