on the various challenges faced by youth and men, who feel that health services
are not geared to meet their needs, or feel discriminated against by staff, Western
Cape Government Health decided to make these two groups the focal point for
World Aids Day.
The department’s awareness plans started a week ago and will continue
across the province in the form of screenings and HIV awareness campaigns. The
focus on men and youth is mainly in the form of educationals on AIDS and tuberculosis, as
well as the continuation of educationals on male medical circumcision.
the past year, progress in the province has been shown through the introduction
of antiretroviral treatment (ART) adherence clubs, as well as the dual
combination ARV preventative therapy to newborns.
Read: Breakthrough in HIV detection in newborns
Introduction of ART clubs
With 156 703 public
sector patients on ART at present in the Western Cape, the
growing number of patients place increasing pressure on already stretched
human-resource capacity at clinics that result in long waiting times and can
impact on the quality of care provided. In turn, the cost to patients of having
to return to facilities regularly, the long waiting times at facilities,
competing demands on time, including work and family responsibilities, and
dissatisfaction with the quality of care, all affect long-term retention, which
require innovative strategies.
Metro District Health Services adopted the
ART-adherence clubs (piloted by Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF)) in Khayelitsha
as a service model to promote long-term retention of patients on treatment.
The ART-adherence club model
encourages patients to stay on treatment. In the model, 30 patients are
allocated to an ART club. The group meets either at a facility or community
venue for less than an hour every 2 months. A lay club facilitator facilitates
group meetings, provides a quick clinical assessment and referral where
necessary, and dispenses pre-packed ART.
From January 2011 to December
2012, Western Cape Government initiated 1,148 ART clubs in the Metro District,
providing ART care to over 30 000 patients. This is a rapid rollout-model that
has demonstrated significant success in the Western Cape. The Province
also won an Impumelelo Social Innovation Platinum Award in 2012 for “ARV Clubs
Managing Large Numbers of Patients on ARVs”.
those patients failing second line ART, the Western Cape is the only province
that introduced third line ART treatment. The Western Cape is the only province
to have a decentralized process in place for third line treatment.
the Province introduced dual combination ARV preventative therapy to new-borns
from HIV-infected high-risk mothers in July this year.
In this year we have reduced
the mother to children transmission rate to 1.3%, which is the lowest in South
It remains important that
every person gets tested and knows their HIV status. Western Cape Government is
investing in research and medication to eradicate HIV, but every person should
take responsibility for their sexual health. We are committed to provide ART
therapy to patients, but our priority remains to prevent people from becoming
infected. Every responsible citizen must play their part.
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