Over 230 Babies Have Been Born With HIV in Gauteng; SA Concerned

Over 230 Babies Have Been Born With HIV in Gauteng; SA Concerned

  • Over 230 babies were born with HIV in Gauteng in the first half of 2024, despite preventative drugs being available for decades
  • The Tshwane district accounted for 40 of these cases, raising concerns about the effectiveness of current health interventions
  • Dr Thandiwe Mlambo told Briefly News that there were gaps in the healthcare system, such as late diagnosis and lack of access to facilities, as contributing factors

Reitumetse Makwea, a Briefly News current affairs journalist in Pretoria, South Africa, has covered court, health and crime-related news at The Citizen and Rekord Noweto for over five years.

Over 230 babies have been born with HIV
Over 230 babies have been born with HIV in Gauteng in the first six months of the year, although drugs to stop mother-to-child transmission of HIV have been available for over 25 years. Images: Stock.
Source: Getty Images

Over 230 babies have been born with HIV in Gauteng in the first six months of 2024 despite the availability of drugs to prevent mother-to-child transmission of HIV for over 25 years.

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The Tshwane district alone accounted for 40 of these cases.

This alarming statistic has raised concerns among health experts and the public about the effectiveness of current health interventions and the factors contributing to these new infections.

See the post on X below:

Experts worried about the trend

Speaking to Briefly News, Dr. Thandiwe Mlambo, a public health expert specialising in HIV prevention, expressed deep concern over the situation.

"This is a significant setback in our fight against HIV. The availability of antiretroviral drugs for pregnant women has been a game-changer in preventing mother-to-child transmission."

Mlambo said the fact that they still see such high numbers of HIV-positive births indicates that there were gaps in the country's healthcare system.

"These could include issues like late diagnosis, lack of access to healthcare facilities, or non-compliance with treatment protocols.

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"We need to intensify our efforts to educate, provide accessible healthcare, and ensure that all pregnant women are receiving the necessary treatment to protect their babies."

Netizens are concerned as well

The news has sparked a wave of reactions on social media, with users expressing various opinions.

@KhumaloFk commented:

"I’m not surprised our ladies are careless."

@ZoomDigita77939 posted"

"You can tell it’s black people."

@proudly83 suggested a corrective approach:

"Arrested their parents, both of them; how can they be so heartless? Some people don't deserve to be to have children."

@Mnca_mnce added:

"Women's rights are superior to children's rights in this world."

Gauteng public healthcare facilities celebrate the births of 112 babies on New Year’s Day

Briefly News reported that the health department said 112 babies were born in Gauteng on New Year's Day, comprising 59 boys and 53 girls.

Academic hospitals, including Chris Hani Baragwanath and Dr George Mukhari, contribute to the baby boom.

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The births brought joy to many, but some South Africans expressed concerns about the rapid birth rate.

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Source: Briefly News

Reitumetse Makwea avatar

Reitumetse Makwea (Editor) Reitumetse Makwea is a Current Affairs journalist at Briefly News. She has a National diploma, Advanced diploma and Post-graduate diploma in Journalism from the Tshwane University of Technology. She first worked as a student journalist and freelancer for Caxton's Record Noweto and later joined The Citizen News, where she worked for a little over 3 years covering politics, environmental news, business, education, and health. Reitumetse joined Briefly News in 2024. Email: reitumetse.makwea@briefly.co.za