antiretroviral treatment

High incidence of antiretroviral prescribing errors in Nigeria

Antiretroviral prescribing errors are common in Nigeria, according to results of a large prospective study published in PLOS ONE. Errors were detected in the prescriptions of almost all adult patients. Common errors included prescribing incorrect antiretroviral drugs or combinations; prescribing drugs that were contraindicated or that interacted with other medication; and inappropriate frequency or duration of therapy.

TB/HIV programmatic challenges highlighted at ICASA

The presence of tuberculosis (TB) at the initiation of antiretroviral therapy (ART) predicts retention in care, according to a study presented by Dr Enegela at the 17th International Conference on AIDS and STIs in Africa (ICASA), held in Cape Town, South Africa from 7 to 11 December 2013.  

Adults with TB at ART initiation were 2.85 times less likely to be retained in care (p = 0.0014; 95% CI, 1.2-6.4), according to the cross-sectional review of 1262 people who had initiated ART across 12 ARV sites in Nigeria. The review was conducted with people who had been on ART for at least nine months.

HIV and Aids: record numbers in poorer countries receive treatment

HIV infection rates tumble by 33% in a decade, while number of Aids-related deaths falls from 2.3m in 2005 to 1.6m last year

Record numbers of people living in low- and middle-income countries are receiving antiretroviral treatment, and HIV infection rates among children have fallen sharply, the UN has said.

But UNAids, the joint UN programme on HIV and Aids, said there were worrying signs that some countries were not on track to meet global targets and commitments, and more funding was required.

‘Functional cure for HIV’: Dare we hope?

On Sunday, researchers at the 20th annual Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections (CROI) in Atlanta, Georgia announced that they had, for the first time, “functionally” cured a baby born with HIV. A "functional cure" refers to state where a person is AIDS-free without the need for HIV drugs, despite a trace of the virus lingering in the body.

Study aims to close the HIV tap

A massive population-based study launched in the Western Cape and Zambia yesterday is aiming to answer the critical question whether testing large populations for HIV and immediately starting those infected on effective antiretroviral treatment programmes, could close the tap on new infections.

 

The study, HPTN071 (PopART) will aim to find out whether offering a combination of several HIV prevention methods to a community will better prevent the spread of HIV that the standard individual methods currently on offer.

2012 Health Overview

From drug shortages to new developments in HIV research, 2012 was a year that exposed the shortcomings of the South African healthcare system but also revealed the country’s potential.

The past year was eventful for health. It ended on a high note and set the bar for 2013.

There is no question that Health Minister Dr Aaron Motsoaledi and his team will be working around the clock to build on advances made in the previous year and tackle the prevailing challenges in the sector.

One of the big announcements in health came at the end of December, when the US Food and Drug Administration approved the first TB drug in almost 50 years.

Govt on track to reach ARV roll-out target

South Africa is on track to reach its target of supplying antiretroviral treatment (ARVs) to 2.5 million people by the year 2014, says the Minister of Social Development Bathabile Dlamini.

Dlamini was speaking at the launch of the State of the World Population 2012 report in the sprawling Imizamo Yethu settlement in Cape Town. The report, compiled by the United Nations Population Fund, was released worldwide on Wednesday.

The minister said that the fight against HIV and Aids was having some positive results. The mother-to-child transmission rate had declined from 8 percent in 2008 to 3.5 percent in 2011, "ensuring that annually over 30 000 babies are protected from infection and poor health".

Aids takes heavier toll on men

A study published in the latest edition of a leading medical journal explains why the survival rate of HIV-positive women is higher than that of men.

Findings that appeared in PLOS Medicine suggest the gender differences in deaths of people on antiretrovirals in South Africa are not related to the HI virus.

The study, which analysed data from about 46 200 adults who started antiretroviral treatment between 2002 and 2009, found that the gender differences in the death rates of South Africans on antiretroviral programmes were smaller than those in the HIV-negative population.