South Africa Making Headway Against AIDS, Says Health Minister
June 6, 2001
South Africa is making headway in its fight against AIDS and has no plans to supply antiretroviral drugs through the public health service, the health minister said yesterday. In an address on the 20th anniversary of the discovery of AIDS, Manto Tshabalala-Msimang told Parliament that "safe sex messages are beginning to bear fruit among the young," adding that surveys have shown a "high awareness of HIV/AIDS, good knowledge of prevention, and even in some instances reports of increased condom use."
She also said that antenatal clinics over the past two years have shown decreasing HIV rates among teen mothers, a slight decline in the rate of new HIV infections and a sharp drop in the incidence of syphilis. Regarding anti-AIDS drugs, the health minister said, "Antiretrovirals are not a cure for HIV/AIDS. We remain concerned about aspects of toxicity, the availability of laboratory services, and infrastructural and educational constraints, particularly in the rural areas." Tshabalala- Msimang said the drug fluconazole was being given to a limited number of patients and that the government is testing the effectiveness of Nevirapine at 18 pilot clinics and hospitals.
06.05.01; Mike Cohen
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.