UNITED DEMOCRATIC MOVEMENT

MEDIA RELEASE

 

SHOCKING HIV/AIDS STATISTICS

STATEMENT ISSUED BY ANNELIZÉ VAN WYK, MP
UDM CAUCUS LIAISON OFFICER

The UDM is dismayed by the latest HIV/AIDS figures released by the Medical Research Council (MRC).

Three issues raised by these statistics are of specific concern for the UDM.

Firstly, the negative social and economic implications for KwaZulu Natal due to this high rate of HIV prevalence will in the years to come exact an extremely high toll on the people of the region. The UDM is concerned that enough is not being done by national and provincial government in terms of awareness campaigns or to prepare for the future costs and implications of the pandemic.

Secondly, the question is raised: What about the rest of the country, is there other unidentified high-risk groups/areas not being targeted because government are unaware of them, or is simply turning a blind eye?

Thirdly, and intrinsically linked to the above, is the issue of insufficient statistics produced by government. Currently it appears that the only national statistics produced annually are antenatal clinic surveys, and occasional research by the MRC. In addition there are the numerous research studies undertaken by civil society and the private sector. However these various sources of HIV/AIDS research often contain contradictory or differing statistics. The problem clearly lies with a government that is not producing accurate and timely statistics. Government is guilty of this lackadaisical information management in numerous other fields too, such as: economic, employment and poverty indicators.

The UDM is wondering whether government is wilfully imposing a type of moratorium on statistics that would embarrass it and highlight its own failure to properly address the HIV/AIDS pandemic.

Enquiries:
Annelizé van Wyk, MP
UDM Caucus Liaison Officer

Cape Town
3 May 2001