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Send  Share  RSS  Twitter  10 Feb 2011

HEALTH: Fivefold Expansion in Anti-Retroviral Access

 





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Nearly one in ten people in the world who receive Antiretroviral Therapy (ART) live in South Africa. Access to ART in the country has increased more than fivefold in the past four years, according to the South African Institute of Race Relations.

The proportion of adults receiving ART increased from 12% in 2005 to 64% in 2009. The proportion of children receiving ART increased from 7% in 2005 to 38% in 2009. This was revealed by data published in the Institute’s latest South Africa Survey in Johannesburg.

Nachi Majoe, a member of the Institute’s research staff, said, ‘This is considerable progress and the Department of Health should be commended for its efforts.’ However, in 2009 nearly 1.5 million adults and 140 000 children were still in need of ART but were not receiving it.

‘This shows that although progress has been made over time, increased access is not yet sufficient. This is because the health department’s predecessors made some serious policy mistakes which have contributed in the backlog of people accessing treatment,’ Majoe said.

‘Nearly one in six people living with HIV in the world today lives in South Africa, which has a mere 0.7% of the world’s population,’ Majoe said. ‘Progress in increased access to treatment is largely due to the 2010 ART Guidelines, which have extended access to ART to include more people and also sooner. These guidelines are a major improvement from before,’ Majoe said

 
 
 
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