Editorial

Improving access to antiretrovirals in rural South Africa – a call to action

Andy Gray, Francesca Conradie, Talitha Crowley, Bernhard Gaede, Tinne Gils, Amir Shroufi, Bella Hwang, Desmond Kegakilwe, Jenny Nash, Prinitha Pillay, Stacie C Stende, Francois Venter, Philippa Matthews

Abstract


South Africa already has the world’s biggest antiretroviral (ARV) programme. With the introduction of extended criteria for initiating ARVs, the National Department of Health wishes to increase the number of people on ARVs by around two million over the next 2 years. Adoption of a chronic disease management model, with extended task shifting, decentralisation and new approaches to distribution of ARVs, must be embraced if this is to be successfully achieved without huge increases in resources. In this editorial we discuss the need for change, and the current substantial blocks to progress (principally in prescribing and dispensing legislation) that contradict national treatment guidance and should be addressed as a matter of urgency. In addition, we draw attention to threatened regulatory changes that may further worsen the situation. 


Authors' affiliations

Andy Gray, Division of Pharmacology, Discipline of Pharmaceutical Sciences, School of Clinical Medicine, College of Health Sciences, Nelson R Mandela School of Medicine, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban, South Africa

Francesca Conradie, President, Southern African HIV Clinicians Society

Talitha Crowley, Division of Nursing, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Stellenbosch University, Tygerberg, Cape Town, South Africa

Bernhard Gaede, Discipline of Family Medicine, School of Clinical Medicine, College of Health Sciences, Nelson R Mandela School of Medicine, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban, South Africa

Tinne Gils, Médecins Sans Frontières South Africa

Amir Shroufi, Médecins Sans Frontières South Africa

Bella Hwang, Stop Stock Outs Project, South Africa

Desmond Kegakilwe, RuDASA, South Africa

Jenny Nash, Amathole District Clinical Specialist Team, Eastern Cape, South Africa

Prinitha Pillay, Rural Health Advocacy Project, South Africa

Stacie C Stende, Senior Technical Advisor, HIV/TB/ID (based in Cape Town, South Africa), Jhpiego

Francois Venter, Wits Reproductive Health and HIV Institute, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa

Philippa Matthews, Africa Centre for Health and Population Studies, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban, South Africa

Full Text

PDF (76KB)

Keywords

South Africa; HIV; Access; Antiretrovirals

Cite this article

South African Medical Journal 2015;105(8):638-640. DOI:10.7196/SAMJnew.8265

Article History

Date submitted: 2015-09-23
Date published: 2015-09-23

Article Views

Abstract views: 1407
Full text views: 2184

Comments on this article

*Read our policy for posting comments here