CAPE TOWN, Aug. 8 (Xinhua) -- U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Wednesday joined South Africa's Minister of Health Aaron Motsoaledi in a visit to the Delft South Clinic in Cape Town where they witnessed the signing of a long term sustainable plan through 2017 aimed at promoting cooperation in achieving an AIDS- free generation for South Africa.
The signing of the Partnership Framework Implementation Plan (PFIP) came after the U.S. provided over 3.2 billion dollars last year to support South Africa's AIDS program through the U.S. President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR).
The PFIP provides a roadmap for the transition in the PEPFAR program in South Africa from an emergency initiative to a sustainable long-term program with the South African government in the lead.
This joint plan lays out how the transition of care and treatment programs into the South African primary healthcare system will be managed in order to preserve quality of care, maximize efficiency in the use of resources and procurement of medicines, and strengthen the overall human and institutional capacity of the South African health system.
The U.S. embassy said in a media advisory issued Wednesday morning that the United States will continue to strongly support South Africa's National HIV and TB response during and beyond the five-year timeframe covered in the PFIP, with an emphasis on technical assistance to further strengthen the country's capacity to respond, as well as aspects of combination prevention and care for orphans and vulnerable children.
It is suggested that with the South African government in the lead, coordinated planning and alignment of implementation with PEPFAR and other development partners like the Global Fund will result in an increase in access to health and social services.
Under the leadership of President Jacob Zuma, South Africa has taken many steps forward. South Africa now provides access to antiretroviral treatment to over 1.7 million people, and has reduced the percentage of new pediatric HIV infections due to mother-to-child transmission from 8 percent in 2008 to 2.7 percent in 2011. In 20 months, South Africa tested 20 million people for HIV.
Cape Town is part of Clinton's four-day visit to South Africa. She will travel to Nigeria from Cape Town on Thursday to continue her 11-day African tour.