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South Africa’s HIV Epidemic Near ‘Tipping Point’ Thanks To Efforts Of Government, PEPFAR, Global Fund

“On Sunday, I had the honor of joining President Barack Obama, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, and leaders of several local non-governmental organizations at the Desmond Tutu HIV Foundation (DTHF) Kethuphila Youth Center in Cape Town, South Africa,” Ambassador Eric Goosby, head of the U.S. State Department’s Office of Global Health Diplomacy and the U.S. global AIDS coordinator, writes in the Huffington Post’s “Impact” blog. Goosby provides an overview of the meeting, noting President Obama spoke “about the strong partnership that has been built during his administration between our two countries in tackling” the HIV/AIDS epidemic. “I was also fortunate to visit the Hout Bay Clinic in Western Cape Province, where I announced an additional $10 million in PEPFAR funding to support South Africa’s ongoing efforts to expand voluntary medical male circumcision (VMMC) for HIV prevention,” Goosby continues. He discusses PEPFAR’s contributions to South Africa’s VMMC for HIV prevention program to date and writes, “As a result of our combined efforts, and with additional support from the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria and other partners, South Africa is now near the critical programmatic tipping point in its epidemic — the point at which the number of new annual adult HIV infections falls below the annual increase in adults on [antiretroviral treatment (ART)].” He continues, “Increasingly, South Africa is on the path to achieving an AIDS-free generation” (7/2).