St. Louis Post-Dispatch Examines Opposition to Antiretrovirals in South Africa
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch on Sunday examined barriers to more widespread antiretroviral treatment for HIV-positive people in South Africa. In addition to practical problems of resources and personnel, health care workers say they struggle to convince some HIV/AIDS patients that the drugs are beneficial (Hanes, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, 7/10). German vitamin advocate Matthias Rath and the California-based Dr. Rath Health Foundation have suggested that antiretroviral drugs are toxic and do not treat HIV infection (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 6/23). Rath's campaign has caused many patients to discontinue their drug regimen, according to the Post-Dispatch. In order to increase the number of HIV-positive people receiving drugs, health workers must combat the obstructive messages and encourage people to maintain their drug regimens. "In the communities, there is so much misinformation and wrong information about AIDS and about the antiretrovirals," Bishop Kevin Dowling of Rustenberg, South Africa, said, adding, "We need to do a lot of counseling, a lot of talking. That's the only way we can gently, sensitively and [with] a lot of respect move the people forward" (St. Louis Post-Dispatch, 7/10).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.