Too few SA men on HIV treatment – Aaron Motsoaledi

2013-06-19 08:41

Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi is concerned about the low number of men taking ARVs compared with women.

Speaking at the official opening of the 6th South African Aids conference in Durban last night, Motsoaledi urged men to test for HIV and if they are positive, to start antiretroviral treatment.

He said South Africa was doing well with putting women on treatment, but the country needed to do better when it came to men and children.

Motsoaledi explained the main reason for the low number of men who are on ARVs was that men don’t test for HIV.

“We saw this during the HCT (HIV Counselling and Testing) campaign, which was launched by the president, Jacob Zuma, in 2010. Of all those who tested, only a third were men,” said Motsoaledi.

“This means that we must do better in getting to men at workplaces, in communities and in their homes,” he said.

Motsoaledi also appealed to thousands of delegates who are attending the four-day conference at the Durban International Convention Centre to come up with solutions for how the country could increase the number of children receiving ARV treatment.

He explained that two problems were hindering treatment in children. One was that healthcare workers were not finding children early and secondly, clinicians were not confident enough to put children on treatment.

Motsoaledi acknowledged the latter was not surprising because the algorithms for children were much more complex than those for adults, but he still appealed to the conference to find ways to deal with the issue.

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