Independant On-line, HIV drugs plan surpasses Rasool's target, 3 September 2004

Jo-Anne Smetherham

Health MEC Pierre Uys says 4 200 people in the Western Cape are taking anti-retrovirals.

It has been estimated that around 50 000 people in the province have end-stage Aids and are ill enough to need the drugs.

Uys and Premier Ebrahim Rasool visited Tygerberg Hospital on Thursday to celebrate progress in the province's Aids treatment plan and to speak to patients taking anti-retrovirals.

Rasool announced at his inauguration that the province's aim was that after 100 days, the number of people receiving anti-retrovirals in the public health system would have increased to 3 000. The target has been exceeded.

'We are rolling out as fast as possible'
"We are rolling out as fast as possible," said Uys.

"Everything is in place for the programme to run smoothly."

Nevilene Slingers, the provincial co-ordinator of anti-retrovirals programmes, said earlier this year that the provincial health department aimed to have 6 000 to 7 000 people taking anti-retrovirals by April next year.

Under the programme, the number of people taking the drugs in Khayelitsha would double, those in Gugulethu would triple and, in a pilot project, everyone needing the drugs in the informal settlement of Masiphumelele, near Noordhoek, would be given them.

This article was originally published on page 5 of Cape Times on September 03, 2004




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