n Southern African Journal of HIV Medicine - Access to ART : letters




Debate surrounding access to antiretroviral therapy (ART) in South Africa has appropriately focused largely on preventing mother-to-child transmission. As the HIV epidemic grows, increasingly large numbers of patients are discovering that their medical insurance cover is not adequate to fund therapy. The response of the medical insurance industry to the epidemic has been variable, and seems to have been only partially dictated by cost constraints. Some funders have chosen to provide ART within a managed care framework. Medical aid schemes attached to the Aid for AIDS programme, for example, provide dual and triple therapy to their members, achieving an undetectable viral load in 26% of cases; importantly, they have also demonstrated significant cost savings in the medium term (unpublished data presented at the XIII International AIDS Conference, Durban, 9 - 14 July 2000).


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