Disabled South Africans have no access to HIV services

Last Updated: Tue, Nov 27, 2012 04:00 hrs

Pretoria, Nov 27 (IANS) South African people with disabilities are also vulnerable to HIV infection, but are facing problems in accessing HIV/AIDS services, state−run news agency SA News reported.

This was revealed in the "Disability and HIV and AIDS Best Practice Report" booklet, launched by the ministry of women, children and people with disabilities in partnership with the South African National AIDS Council (Sanac) and UNAIDS.

The booklet captures real−life stories of people with disabilities living with HIV, and tells unheard stories of people and how the issues around HIV and disability have affected them.

According to the 2011 General Household Survey, approximately 5.2 percent of South Africans aged five years and older are disabled. Women (5.4 percent) were slightly more likely to be disabled than men (5 percent).

The report said people living with disabilities face barriers to access HIV and AIDS services mainly because they are seen as asexual and so at minimal risk from HIV infection, they have poor physical access to HIV counselling sites and lack of accessible HIV information and prevention materials in Braille, or in simplified format for people with intellectual disabilities.

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