/ 21 April 2013

Sanac hopes for three-million on ARVs by 2015

"Currently, there are 1.9-million people on treatment," said Sanac spokesperson Khopotso Bodibe.

Another target for 2015 was the elimination of mother-to-child transmission of HIV, and a reduction in the number of Aids-related maternal deaths, she said.

Bodibe said the rate of mother-to-child HIV transmission dropped from 8% to 2.7% between 2008 and 2012, and that 99% of mothers and infants at risk of HIV transmission were currently receiving ART.

"TB [tuberculosis] infection still remains a challenge," she said, adding that most people living with HIV, were also infected with TB.

"Sanac aims to reduce TB incidence and mortality caused by TB in people living with HIV by 50% in 2015."

A new national strategic plan for HIV, TB and sexually transmitted diseases was adopted at a Sanac meeting, chaired by Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe, in Secunda, Mpumulanga, this week.

A simplified ARV medication was also recently launched in Ga-Rankuwa, north west of Pretoria.

On Sunday, Bodibe said not everyone would have immediate access to the new, single-dose treatment. "Those who are already on treatment still need to continue with their combination treatment, as they have always taken it, until after July 2013," she said. – Sapa