CAPE TOWN – Deputy President David Mabuza said that adolescent girls and young women remained disproportionately affected by HIV.Mabuza on Friday chaired the first meeting in the sixth administration of the South African National Aids Council (SANAC) inter-ministerial committee in Cape Town.Mabuza said that the inter-ministerial committee meeting was to deliberate on various aspects of South Africa’s response to the HIV and TB epidemics.He said that according to the latest UNAID Global Aids report, South Africa bore the highest burden of HIV globally, with almost eight million people infected.Of these, 4.4 million were on anti-retroviral treatment.He said that an area of concern continued to be vulnerable young women and girls.“Key and vulnerable populations, including adolescent girls and women, remain highly affected by HIV,” he said.Mabuza said there was some light at the end of the tunnel in areas like Eshowe in KwaZulu-Natal, where they had met UNAIDS prevention targets.“We draw inspiration from the UNAIDS 2019 Global Aids report that identified the rural community of Eshowe as having managed to exceed the UN’s targets 1990 targets before the year 2020.”CHALLENGES OF HIV/AIDS AND TBMabuza said they convened the SANAC and an inter-ministerial committee meeting to deliberate on various aspects of the country’s response to the HIV and TB epidemics.He said the meeting also focused on the outcomes of the South African AIDS Conference 2019 action plan and funding for HIV and TB response.Mabuza said government remained confronted by the challenge of HIV and TB epidemics. He said this was based on the UNAIDS 2019 Global AIDS Report.“We need to understand that our country is confronted by these big challenges of HIV/Aids and TB. According to that report that was launched, our country bears the highest burden of HIV/Aids globally.”