Over a million patients on ARV in KZN

2015-11-25 06:23

KZN has more than one million patients on antiretroviral treatment (ARV).

The provincial health department marked the surpassing of the one million mark with an event on Friday at Richmond Silahla sports ground.

The programme was officially rolled out in April 2004 in the province and has been acclaimed as the biggest in the world.

The province has the highest rate of HIV and Aids infections in the country, at 37%.

MEC Sibongiseni Dhlomo said the roll-out of ARVs had improved the life expectancy of many.

“At the beginning, HIV and Aids was seen as a ‘death sentence’. The roll-out of these lifesaving drugs has brought hope to many who were just waiting for their demise.

“We are commemorating over a decade of sustaining and prolonging lives of more than a million citizens of our province,” he said.

Dhlomo said the province has 618 facilities that provide HIV and Aids services.

“We have seen a decrease in the mother to child transmission of HIV significantly from 22% in 2008 to five percent in 2010 and to 1, 3% currently. We intend further reducing this to 0,5% by 2018,” Dhlomo said.

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