WOZA Internet (Johannesburg) - January 23, 2001
The International Association of Physicians in AIDS Care
(IAPAC) announced plans to develop a programme of enhanced HIV
care in SA during a recent health care resource allocation
conference. The "not-for-profit managed care carve out
programme" would carry a monthly premium of about R50 for
patients, according to a report in the Journal of the American
According to IAPAC, existing programmes of HIV care in South
Africa tend to be too expensive, plagued by a lack of skilled
health professionals, and patients are too often reluctant to
trust the treatments.
The new healthcare programme - which should become operational
later this year - will include voluntary counselling and
testing, immune status monitoring, prophylaxis for
opportunistic infections and antiretroviral treatments.
"Our members - 10 000 physicians and healthcare professionals
in 52 countries - want lower drug prices," said President of
the International Association of Physicians in AIDS Care Jose
M. Zuniga, speaking at the conference.
"They also want, and desperately need, infrastructure that will
allow these drugs to be responsibly and effectively used. This
approach, combined with support from the leadership of the
countries themselves, will better the quality of care provided
to all Africans living with HIV/AIDS."
The most recent figures from UNAIDS estimate that three million
people died from AIDS in the year 2000, and that approximately
36.1 million people are now HIV-infected worldwide.
IAPAC announced at the International AIDS Conference in Durban
last July that it will strengthen its involvement in the
Southern Africa region by establishing a regional office in