Gauteng scores lowest in providing ARVs to HIV-positive people

Issued by Jack Bloom MPL – DA Gauteng Shadow Health MEC
07 Aug 2019 in Press Statements

Gauteng is lagging all other provinces in treating people diagnosed as HIV-positive with antiretroviral drugs (ARVs).

This is according to the latest Thembisa mathematical model (version 4.2) of HIV in South Africa as analyzed by Spotlight

According to the 90–90–90 targets for 2020 set by the United Nations Programme on AIDS and HIV, 90% of people living with HIV should know their HIV status, 90% of those who know their HIV-positive status should be on ARVs, and 90% of people on treatment should have suppressed viral loads.

In Gauteng 89% of HIV-positive people have been diagnosed, but only 61% of them are receiving ARV treatment and only 47% of HIV-positive people on ARVs have suppressed viral loads so that they can no long pass on the infection.

This compares with some other provinces as follows:

  • KwaZulu-Natal – 92% diagnosed, 72% on treatment and 61% with suppressed viral load.
  • Western Cape – 89% diagnosed, 66% on treatment and 52% with suppressed viral load.
  • Eastern Cape – 90% diagnosed, 62% on treatment and 48% with suppressed viral load.

I am also concerned that 60 000 people become HIV-infected in Gauteng each year, a decline from previous years but still too high, especially amongst young women.

The Gauteng Health Department needs to do more to treat and prevent HIV/Aids which currently affects 1 912 590 people, which is 13.5% (one in seven) of the province’s population.