Huge AIDS Grant Gives New Hope to South Africa Families
October 23, 2002
The biggest yet grant for the treatment of South Africans with AIDS, worth R230 million (US $22.5 million), is expected to offer new hope to whole communities. In the Western Cape, the grant from the US National Institutes of Health will entrench the switch from focusing on the prevention of mother-to-child transmission of the virus to treating not only the mothers too, but also entire families.
Announced in Johannesburg on Monday, the grant will bring together specialists from the University of Cape Town, Tygerberg Hospital and Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital. In the first all-South African project of its kind, run in cooperation with the provincial Health Department, the project will treat up to 1,000 infected adults and children. The grant offers AIDS specialists the opportunity to prove that treatment of communities will ensure families stay together longer.
In the Western Cape, Masiphumelele, near Noordhoek, has been selected as the site where every community member who needs antiretrovirals will get them. Between 300 and 600 people will be treated and about the same number in Soweto. The aim, said Dr. Linda Gail-Bekker, head of the infectious disease clinical research unit at UCT's Lung Institute, is that eventually everyone in the community will know their HIV status.
Masiphumelele, an accredited vaccine trial site by the South African AIDS Vaccine Initiative, was selected because the specialists already have "a good relationship with health authorities there." "The community is small enough to have an impact on the entire population," Bekker said.
Independent (South Africa)
This article was provided by U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It is a part of the publication CDC HIV/Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update. Visit the CDC's website to find out more about their activities, publications and services.