The 16th WONCA Conference ended recently, after demonstrating the challenges that are to be faced by doctors worldwide.
Providing anti-retroviral drugs and preventing mother-to-child transmission of HIV are not always feasible with South Africa's health-care infrastructure. Now that we've celebrated a victory over multi-national pharmaceutical companies for access to cheaper medicines, what are we going to do about preventing mother-to-child transmission of Aids and access to anti-retroviral drugs?
Voluntary HIV testing and counselling is essential for HIV prevention but as yet few health facilities in South Africa provide the service. The national health department’s Directorate for HIV/AIDS and STDs does not have accurate recent figures regarding available voluntary counselling and testing (VCT) services but the bottom-line, says MsThembela Masuku, Deputy-Director of Counselling Programmes, is that it is still limited.
More than 80 000 registered voters have died of AIDS since the election in June last year, which AIDS experts said indicates the increasing toll the disease is exacting.
For the first time since 1986, HIV is not listed as one of the 15 leading causes of death in the United States.