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TAC: ARV treatment education best way to bring down HIV infection rates

On Tuesday, the Human Sciences Research Council released the results of a survey which states the prevalence of new HIV infections has decreased by 44% over the past five years.

FILE: A bottle of antiretroviral drug Truvada. Picture: AFP

JOHANNESBURG - An activist organisation, the Treatment Action Campaign (TAC), says that for South Africa to further decrease the rate of new HIV infections more needs to be done to curb treatment defaulting for persons on the ARV treatment programme.

On Tuesday, the Human Sciences Research Council released the results of a survey which states the prevalence of new HIV infections has decreased by 44% over the past five years.

However, Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi acknowledged that while this is a positive development, South Africa is still the leading country in the world with the highest number of people living with HIV.

TAC national chairperson, Sibongile Tshabalala, says that treatment education is important.

“We’re seeing this 25% of defaulter rate because nurses at the clinics can’t deal with the pressure. If we can be able to fix our healthcare system and educate everyone… treatment literacy is still the key.”

More than four million South Africans are on antiretroviral treatment.

(Edited by Zamangwane Shange)