ARV target within reach

2010-04-06 13:57

Revised guidelines for antiretroviral therapy would ensure that South Africa had 1 million people on treatment by the end of June 2010, the Treatment Action Campaign (TAC) said.

The guidelines, which were published by the SA National Aids Council, came into effect last week.

They phased out the use of stavudine (d4T) in favour of tenofovir, which had fewer side-effects and required fewer treatment switches than d4T.

The guidelines also allowed for earlier treatment for pregnant women, and people with HIV and TB, early treatment for HIV-positive infants, and improved regimens to prevent mother-to-child transmission.

The treatment should be available in all health facilities that provide antiretroviral therapy.

The TAC said 5.3 million South Africans were HIV positive. In addition to the 900 000 already on treatment, there were 1 million people still in need of treatment.

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