A group of former African heads of states will be pushing for the continent’s governments to have all their teenagers between the ages of 16 and 19 to be tested annually for HIV and Aids, this is according to former Botswana president Festus Mogae.

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Former Botswana President Festus Mogae and former South Africa president Kgalema Motlanthe are part of a group of former heads of state that have vowed to help bring about an Aids free generation in Africa by 2030. (SABC)

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Mogae was speaking at a press conference held by UNAIDS and a group of former African heads of state called Champions for an Aids Free Generation in Johannesburg on Monday.

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The former heads of states have vowed to use their power and influence to bring about an Aids-free-generation in Africa by 2030.

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The push to have teenagers tested every year will be part of the group’s effort in fighting HIV and Aids infection among women and young people in Africa, Mogae mentioned.

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Mogae says young people are Africa’s most precious asset and they will do everything possible to protect them from the virus. He says they will take money that could have been used for development in other areas and use it to fight the virus because “nothing can be more important for us than the lives of our people.”

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Champions for an Aids Free Generation was launched in 2008, this year other former heads of state, including Joyce Banda, from Malawi, Kgalema Motlanthe from South Africa and Olusegun Obasanjo from Nigeria, joined the group to intensify efforts to fighting the virus.

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Motlanthe says Africa has achieved a great deal when it comes to fighting HIV and Aids but many countries in the continent have now relaxed their efforts. Young people and women are paying the price for the reduced efforts in fights against the virus. Both groups account for the most number of new infections in the continent.

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Amongst other things, the group will intensify efforts to eliminating new HIV infections among children and ensuring that HIV positive children in the continent have access to treatment. The champions also say they will be red flagging to world leaders the dangers of the drop in financing of HIV and Aids Non-Governmental Organisations. – SABC