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Scores not taking ARVs - Sanac

Sanac said the biggest challenge in reducing the spread of HIV is people who are failing to take ARVs.

Sanac said the biggest challenge in reducing the spread of HIV is people who are failing to take ARVs.

CAPE TOWN - The South African National Aids Council (Sanac) on Friday said the biggest challenge in effectively reducing the spread of HIV is people who are failing to take their antiretroviral (ARVs).

A total of 1.9 million adults and children are receiving treatment nationwide.

The issue was raised during a special joint committee meeting on HIV/Aids in Parliament, Cape Town.

The council said while strides were made in getting people tested for HIV, many people do not adhere to the ARV programme.

Sanac CEO Fareed Abdullah reiterated government could not work alone and needed the help of communities.

He said despite the best science in the world, if people did not take medication regularly, it would not work.

In recent years, the percentage of adults and children receiving HIV therapy rose from over 58 to 75 percent.

As part of Sanac's national four-year strategic plan, it wants to decrease the HIV incident rate by 50 percent.

In April, the Health Department launched a fixed-dose combination of ARV treatment.

The new one-a-day pill will be offered to all HIV patients from the middle of 2013.

South Africa has one of the highest HIV infection rates in the world.

Over five million people are living with the virus.

In 2012, government unveiled its plan to halve HIV infections over the next five years.

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