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Gauteng Health Department Warns of Surge in STIs and HIV Cases



STIs and HIV

The Gauteng Department of Health has sounded the alarm over a rise in STIs and HIV cases. The department released a statement on Sunday. Between April and December 2023, 167,109 males sought treatment. 40% of them are receiving treatment for Male Urethritis Syndrome (MUS), indicating newly acquired STIs. Symptoms of MUS include penile discharge and painful urination. Rates escalated from 12% in 2020 to 15% in 2023. High-risk areas with barriers to healthcare access are being targeted for intervention. The department is advocating preventive measures such as:

  • consistent condom use,
  • HIV testing, counselling, and
  • STI screening.

Also read: Recovered: Hijacked VW Polo from Gauteng Health Staff Found with Altered Plates

MEC for Health and Wellness, Nomantu Nkomo-Ralehoko, stressed the importance of free condom distribution and identified behavioural factors contributing to MUS. She also urged early antenatal care for pregnant women to address STIs. “In terms of the high MUS incidence in these areas, we have identified behavioural factors, including high rates of unsafe practices such as inconsistent condom use, multiple sexual partners, substance abuse, and cultural norms,” said Nkomo-Ralehoko. The department also expressed concerns about the increasing use of Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) among women without consistent condom use, calling for greater male engagement in PrEP initiatives to ensure comprehensive protection.

Source: Gauteng Health Department issues warning as STIs and HIV surge

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Picture: Pixabay / fernando zhiminaicela

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