oa South African Health Review - Antiretrovirals : priority programmes

Volume 2002 Number 1
  • ISSN : 1025-1715



This chapter examines the current status of the provision of antiretrovirals (ARVs) in South Africa. It uses examples of developing countries such as Brazil and Botswana that have national Highly Active Antiretrovirals Therapy (HAART) programmes to illustrate the potential of public sector provision of HAART in developing settings. <br>There are several HAART treatment projects in South Africa, treating about 20 000 people of the approximately 5 million people currently living with HIV / AIDS. the majority of these receive ARVs as part of a medical insurance scheme. An increasing number of people will be treated as part of occupational programmes in the mining industry. There are several small treatment projects located in townships within major cities. None of these projects treats more than 400 people. Government's stance on the use of ARVs has changed in 2002 but there has been no sign of urgency in providing ARVs in the public sector. Cost estimates of universal access are imperfect, owing to the rapid decrease in ARV prices and uncertainties on costs, benefits and durability of HAART. It seems likely that over the next 3-7 years universal access to HAART in South Africa will become a reality.

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