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 https://www.spotlightnsp.co.za/2019/08/05/graphs-that-tell-the-story-of-hiv-in-south-africas-provinces/

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.