Strides made towards accessing medication for HIV patients: Experts

Reading Time: 2 minutes

On the eve of World Aids Day, South African medical experts say there have been significant strides towards ensuring that people living with HIV access relevant medication.

South Africa is in the process of testing an anti-retroviral injection that can be administered once a month.

More than 5.5 million people are taking a combination of ARVs.

The South African National Aids Council CEO, Dr Thembisile Xulu, says the injection is still undergoing tests.

“It is still very much under tests. It is one that will also be used as prevention which means it will be acceptable, for people that are HIV negative, will be able to inject, so what that means is that for two to three months, a person will be able to use an injection to prevent them from getting HIV. Even if they have sexual contact to someone who does have HIV.”

Meanwhile, Treatment Action Campaign spokesperson, Anele Yawa, says as some patients still struggle with stigma, they are calling on authorities to supply HIV patients with enough medication on a monthly basis.

“If it has been proven to be safe and effective for people living with HIV that will be the right step towards the right direction. It is so frustrating when you engage with people and then a person will tell you I was at a clinic and I was given treatment for five days, next week I must go to the clinic again. One of the things we are calling for is a monthly supply of ARVs.”

Professor Saiqa Mullick talks on SA’s plans to pilot new HIV prevention shots that could prevent new infections: