This new regimen will save the Department of Health money and they will now spent R89 a month per patient instead of the R400 on the previous regimen. The new treatment is also expected to improve adherence as the single tablet is easier to take than the multiple tablets.
The first recipient of the drug in Ga-rankuwa was an HIV patient and activist, as well as a member of the Treatment Action Campaign (TAC). He told OurHealth that there is a need to re-educate patients on adherence and reviving adherence clubs (support groups).
He said he hoped that the new drug, which is a combination of Tenofovir, Emtricitabine and Efavirenz, will assist in suppressing the viral load in HIV patients and increase the CD4 count, which will result in a reduction in mortality among children and adults. He urged new patients to adhere to their treatment and praised Tshwaraganang Wellness in Phedisong 4 Clinic for the services they deliver to patients.
Sister Catherine Chimuse, project manager at Tshwaraganang Wellness, told OurHealth that ARV-treatment is increasing, which shows that patients are happy with the drug.
Sister Chimuse said that the new drug works the same as the old regimen, except that patients only need to take one pill, once a day, instead of three pills, twice a day, which makes the treatment simpler and easier to adhere to. – OurHealth/Health-e News Service
Mishack Mahlangu is an OurHealth Citizen Journalist reporting from the Tshwane health district in Gauteng.