Health-e News Service - February 23, 2012
Last year alone, 376 000 people with HIV started antiretroviral
medication - over 100 000 more than the previous year.
Sadly, during that same year up to 450 000 people were infected
with HIV, mostly due to "the lack of a co-ordinated and effective
These are some of the issues raised by the Health Systems Trust's
SA Health Review 2011, which was launched yesterday in Pretoria.
Government's bill for HIV/AIDS is over R30-billion a year,
according to Treasury officials Mark Blecher, Aparna Kollipara,
Nomkhosi Zulu and academic Pieter de Jager.
The conditional grant for HIV/AIDS has increased by 44 percent a
year, or R1.3-billion over the past three years.
But while the cost is high, the pay-off has been significant.
Seven years ago, only seven percent of South Africans in need
were on antiretroviral treatment but by the end of 2010, this
figure had jumped to 84 percent.
By the end of March 2011, 1.46 million people were on ARVs. This
number is expected to reach three million by 2015
The country's greatest success is the reduction of HIV positive
pregnant mothers passing the virus to their babies from 10
percent to 3.5 percent transmission rate.
Tuberculosis, the biggest opportunistic infection to affect
people with HIV, is also taking a chunk out of healthcare
KwaZulu-Natal is particularly hard hit and will spend almost
R900-million on TB hospitals this year, almost triple the next
biggest spender, the Eastern Cape.
KZN had almost double the hospitalised patients of the Eastern
Cape, with 124 626 registered patients.
By 2010, one in ten TB patients were dying - an increase of
almost two percent in five years but one that health experts
blame on the rise of drug-resistant TB.