Public must still use condoms despite new HIV pill - govt

2015-12-09 14:01
(File, iStock)

(File, iStock)

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In absence of vaccine, best prevention of transmission of HIV is treatment - MSF

2015-12-01 13:49

We speak to Dr. Eric Goemaere from Doctors Without Borders, watch him tell us about the progress South Africa has made when it comes to eradicating HIV.WATCH

Cape Town - 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.

- Read: Medical council approves HIV prevention drug

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

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

Maila told EWN 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.

Best preventative measures

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.

"Someone who is HIV positive, [if they are] treated [and have an] undetected viral load, we cannot find the virus in the blood, [therefore it] is not infectious."

- WATCH: In absence of vaccine, best prevention of transmission of HIV is treatment – MSF

What people should know about HIV

Health24 recently published an article detailing the most important facts people living with HIV should know.

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

Dr Sindisiwe van Zyl told Health24 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 people would rather get sick than access treatment,” she said.

- Read: What people living with HIV need to know

Read more on:    hiv aids  |  health

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