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New ARVs almost ready for distribution

WC Health MEC says new single dose ARVs will become accessible to patients within 12 months.

New single dose ARVs will become accessible to patients within 12 months say WC health MEC.

CAPE TOWN - Western Cape Health MEC Theuns Botha said on Thursday it's hoped single dose antiretroviral (ARV) drugs will be available to all patients within 12 months.

The roll out of fixed dose combination drugs began this week, but only certain groups of people are being prioritised.

They include new patients and HIV positive pregnant women.

Botha said over time the drugs will be rolled out to everyone in need of treatment.

"I think one must allow for a transitional period. It will take some time to comprehensively introduce it to all those patients but I think we would be able to do this successfully in a 12 month period."

But Doctors Without Borders' Gilles Van Cutsem is sceptical.

"The stock of single dose combinations in provincial pharmacies are insufficient to cover all the new all the new patients and all the pregnant women as of now."

Fixed dose combination drugs make it easier for nurses and pharmacists to prescribe, dispense and monitor treatment.