The South African national Health Department has resolved to issue anti-retroviral (ARV) treatment to HIV positive people without checking their CD4 count.
Previously patients would have to have a CD4 count of 500 before being put on ARV treatment, a slight increase compared with the initial 200 CD4 count required before being put on the treatment.
South Africa has 6.8 million people infected with the HIV Virus. Girls between 15 and 25 years of age are the most vulnerable and more than 1,900 new infections are recorded weekly among the group.
The chief executive officer (CEO) of the South African National AIDS Council (SANAC), Dr Fareed Abdullah, said Tuesday:”The rate of new infections is coming down, but it’s coming down slowly. We need to have a much sharper drop in those infections.”
KwaZulu-Natal is the province with the highest number of new infections with 492 a week, followed by Gauteng Province with 333. In order to fight the scourge, the government is spending 23 billion Rand (about 1.5 billion US dollars) annually.
Meanwhile, the 21st International AIDS Conference will take place in Durban from July 18 to 22. It aims to come up with measures to have an AIDS-free generation by 2030.
However, the stigma of HIV remains one of the main challenges for people living with HIV and AIDS around the world.
Source: Nam News Network