Updated 08 April 2013

Single-pill ARV launched

Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi has launched the new single daily dose ARV pill at government facilities.

A new, improved ARV treatment has been launched in Pretoria, by Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi. The treatment, which replaces treatments requiring multiple pills taken at precise times during the day, requires the HIV-positive patient to take just a single pill, once a day.

Reporting on the announcement, Eyewitness News quoted the Minister as listing a number of benefits to the new treatment, including lighter side effects, improved compliance and affordability.

The new treatment is currently being made available to 930 000 patients. It was previously reported that there were concerns about the availability of the new drug, but the Minister today promised a full roll out for all patients by June 2013.

Earlier this year, President Jacob Zuma mentioned in his State of the Nation speech that the life expectancy in South Africa is improving - a fact that has been attributed to some extent to the wider availability and use of ARV treatment by HIV-positive people.

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Dr Sindisiwe van Zyl qualified at the University of Pretoria in 2005. She is a patients' rights activist and loves using social media to teach about HIV. She is in private practice in Johannesburg.

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