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Government to Take Decisive Action Against HIV
Source: Bua News
Source Date: Friday, April 16, 2010
Focus: Institution and HR Management
Created: Apr 16, 2010

"This just does not make sense," Motsoaledi said. He said the country must be able to purchase ARVs at the lowest prices because South Africa is the largest consumer of ARVs and must benefit from economies of scale. The minister added that, if the situation continues, the fiscus will be overburdened.


Motsoaledi said the country must purchase ARVs at the lowest possible cost from whatever source that can guarantee the lowest prices, whether inside or outside the country.


Local pharmaceutical manufacturers are of the view that this approach will result in job losses. But Motsoaledi said that government needed to take decisive action in overcoming the challenge that HIV presents.


"I will not comprise on this," he said, adding that the policy position applies to ARVs only and not all other pharmaceutical products.


More than 1000 public health facilities are currently providing ARV treatment following an additional 519 facilities which started providing the treatment as of 1 April 2010.


By the end of March 2010, only 496 public health facilities accredited were providing ARV therapy.


As of April, pregnant women with a CD4 count of 350 or less as well as people co-infected with TB and HIV at a CD4 count of 350 or less were being provided with treatment.


HIV positive pregnant women are also receiving dual therapy from 14 weeks of pregnancy, not 28 weeks as was previously the case, until post-delivery.


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