HIV-Aids issues spread their wings

The Health Department said it was increasing access to HIV-Aids prevention, care and treatment services.

The Health Department said it was increasing access to HIV-Aids prevention, care and treatment services.

Health Minister Manto Tshabalala-Msimang said about 11000 patients were joining the antiretroviral programme every month and 213828 adults and children had been put on the programme by the end of September.

Treatment was available at 273 hospitals and clinics across the country for patients with a CD4 count of 200 or below.

The minister said the strategic plan for HIV-Aids and sexually transmitted infections for 2007 to 2011 was being revised.

"This will ensure continuity of the current strategies while introducing additional interventions required to keep up with recent advances in knowledge," she said.

The South African National Aids Council was also being reviewed to ensure that it reflected the department's response to Aids.

Child Welfare South Africa said non-agovernmental organisations such as itself were struggling to care for the increasing number of Aids orphans. To reach more children, the organisation was seeking partnerships with local and overseas funders.

This would enable it to roll-out its Asibavikele - Let's protect them - programme, which was piloted in 21 local communities.

Asibavikele mobilised communities and trained volunteers to identify and register orphans.

The children were given grief and trauma counselling, food security, shelter, birth registration and ID documents, social security and schooling. - Sapa

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