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New HIV treatment could avert up to 300,000 new infections

Health Minister Zweli Mkhize launched the new treatment in KwaZulu-Natal on Wednesday.

FILE: Health Minister Zweli Mkhize. Picture: Abigail Javier/EWN.

DURBAN - The roll-out of a new three-in-one pill to help treat HIV could avert up to 300,000 new infections in the next 20 years.

The tablet also comes with fewer side effects.

Health Minister Zweli Mkhize launched the new treatment in KwaZulu-Natal on Wednesday.

South Africa has the largest HIV treatment programme in the world with over five million patients in the public and private sectors being treated.

Mkhize said the TLD (tenofovir/lamivudine/dolutegravir) medication is cheaper and would assist government in its plan of helping 1.2. million more people by December next year.

He said TLD had fewer side effects and patients were less resistant. However, the minister said pregnant women should be cautious.

Mkhize added the medication would soon be distributed to patients throughout the country as part of the government’s attempt to ensure that most people living with the virus know their status and are on treatment.

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