Boost for fight against HIV-Aids

THE R121-billion allocated to the Department of Health will go a long way in the fight against HIV-Aids and tuberculosis, says Evodia Mosime, a case manager at Liberty Corporate.

The allocation was announced by Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan last month. He made R968-million available over the next three years for the provision of HIV drugs.

Mosime says the allocation of funds for antiretroviral treatment at a threshold of 350 CD4 count, as opposed to 200 cell count in the past, will assist to uplift the burden of the disease faced by South Africa.

A CD4 count of 200 is indicative of a compromised immune system, making one's body susceptible to illnesses and infections. Receiving treatment only when the CD4 count is low minimises the chances of recovery compared to when introduced earlier. A normal CD4 count is between 700 and 1000.

"Left untreated, TB is among the leading causes of disabilities and deaths among millions of people in developing countries," Mosime says.

"The commitment by government will increase the number of people who are able to take antiretrovirals as early as possible."

She says early management of the disease will be hugely beneficial.

  • Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi, TB Ambassadors Gerry Elsdon and musician Theo Kgosinkwe, and other celebrities will lead the first "Hit the Road and Kick TB" march from the SABC headquarters in Auckland Park to Johannesburg Station.
  • Hain Lifescience SA will celebrate World TB Day at Sizwe TB Hospital today.