Department to boost ARVs distribution

THE KwaZulu-Natal health department wants to increase its distribution of ARVs and could soon launch a door-to-door treatment programme.

This emerged during a three- day summit on HIV and Aids comprehensive care management and treatment which ended in the Drakensberg yesterday.

Health department head Sibongile Zungu said all health sectors in the region would do everything possible to ensure that everybody in need of treatment received it on time.

The summit was attended by delegates from various sectors in government and private sector.

Zungu said registering people who are in need of treatment would be done through visits to each and every ward or homes.

The exercise will start with the poorest 57 wards in terms of the government's Joint Cluster Flagship Programme.

"We want to make sure that every single person in need of the medication is reached closer to their homes," Zungu said.

At the moment, the department has 205000 people registered under their ARV roll-out programme.

But recent statistics released by the department, show that some 3million people are infected with the disease and that the department wants to reach all infected people who qualify to receive ARV treatment.

"Testing people for HIV is chief among our priorities. This includes clinically classifying all those who are HIV positive and directing them to necessary interventions of care, support and management, said Zungu.

"We need to manage those who are HIV negative to ensure that they remain negative for the rest of their lives.

"The registration of those in need of treatment to nearby home treatment programmes was also important," she said.