More Than 210,000 HIV-Positive South Africans on Antiretrovirals
More than 210,000 HIV-positive people in South Africa are receiving antiretroviral drugs, making the country's antiretroviral drug program the largest in the world, the government announced Wednesday, according to AFP/Yahoo! News. By the end of March, 134,473 people had begun antiretroviral drug treatment through government-sponsored programs (AFP/Yahoo! News, 5/17). About 80,000 more people had begun treatment in the private and nongovernmental sector, government spokesperson Joel Netshitenzhe said (AP/Dow Jones, 5/17). However, there were no data on treatment adherence nor on how many HIV-positive people receiving antiretroviral drugs had died. Netshitenzhe said the government is improving its follow-up information (Xinhua/People's Daily, 5/18). Netshitenzhe also said South Africa's progress in addressing the epidemic -- including promoting behavior changes and condom use, increasing the capacity of health care facilities to provide HIV/AIDS-related services, recruiting more health professionals, and providing nutritional supplements and home-based care -- is "cause for hope" (SAPA/Independent Online, 5/18).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.