n Southern African Journal of HIV Medicine - Antiretroviral therapy for children in the public health care sector : paediatric ART in the public sector




Because of the South African governmental health policy, which does nor permit public health service access to antiretroviral drugs (ARVs), the use of these drugs has been restricted to clinical trials and to the upper tier of health care services in South Africa, i.e. patients who have health care insurance or other means to purchase drugs. Clinical experience with ARVs has been restricted to physicians in private practice and those engaged in drug trials. Since South African children have rarely been enrolled as subjects in drug trials, few local paediatricians in hospital or academic practice have been able to gain experience in using highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART). Moreover, few public health care institutions, whether urban or rural, have yet developed the sort of dedicated, comprehensive clinical HIV service that is an essential precondition for the successful introduction of HAART.


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