People urged to use condoms

2015-12-10 06:00

Although a new HIV preventative drug has been approved by the Medicines Control Council (MCC), South Africans have been urged to continue using condoms when having sex.

The new drug, named Truvada, was developed by pharmaceutical company Aspen in 2013, but took two years to be approved by the MCC, News24 reported.

The company claims the drug has a 100% success rate.

Spokesperson for the health department, Joe Maila, stressed that condoms are still important.

Maila said the pill would help in the fight against HIV/Aids, but it shouldn’t replace the use of condoms.

Detractors have raised concerns that the drug will promote unsafe sex and promiscuity.

Dr Eric Goemaere from Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) recently spoke to News24 about the progress South Africa has made when it comes to eradicating HIV.

“I’m not sure that condom use is going to increase in the future,” said Goemaere, who explained that in absence of a vaccine, the best preventative measure that can be taken is treatment.

Many patients feel ashamed when they’re diagnosed, a stigma that still continues into 2016.

Dr Sindisiwe van Zyl told City Vision that the humiliation HIV positive patients experience can be deadly because it keeps them from seeking medical assistance.

“Although the virus is no longer a death sentence, some would rather get sick than access treatment,” she said.

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