Global Fund helps SA fight HIV/Aids

21 December 2010

The Global Fund to Fight Aids, Tuberculosis and Malaria has approved US$302-million (about R2.06-billion) for South Africa, over a period of five years, for the prevention, treatment and care of HIV/Aids and TB.

Addressing journalists in Pretoria on Sunday, Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi said the funds would allow South Africa to put more people on early treatment and avert Aids-related deaths.

“Of the previous grants we have received from the Global Fund, this is the highest amount,” Motsoaledi said. “It covers, for the first time, treatment and also includes health systems strengthening and scaling up of medical male circumcisions.”

Of the $302-million, $196-million is for Aids medication, $33-million for medical male circumcision, $10-million for strengthening health systems and community response programmes to HIV/Aids and TB, and $8-million for direct support of TB programmes.

A sum of $128-million – 65% of which is meant for antiretroviral therapy (ART) – has been approved for the next two years.

Supporting priority areas

The fund would be used to support priority areas, including:

  • Increasing HIV and TB case finding and linkages to care at community level through HIV counselling and testing.
  • The rapid roll-out of safe medical male circumcision targeting under-served, high-burden areas.
  • Expanding access to ART according to updated national guidelines and Ionised Prophylaxis Therapy.
  • Strengthening pharmacovigilance and resistance monitoring and reducing adverse events related to ART, TB and related medicines.
  • Strengthening health systems supporting HIV/Aids, as well as government and civil society capacity to manage the response to HIV/Aids.

Motsoaledi noted that this was a major addition to the department’s R4.28-billion tender for the procurement of antiretroviral drugs to support the implementation of HIV/Aids treatment in South Africa over the next two years.

Source: BuaNews