PROVINCE BEGINS WIPING OUT AIDS.
The Western Cape is the first province in the country to sign a multi million rand deal with the Cape Town based Larson Pharmaceutical company to provide its Aids remedy in continuation of the province’s massive roll out campaign to rid the province of the Aids scourge forever.
The drug, developed by Larson Pharmaceuticals in conjunction with several of the world’s leading scientists, has already resulted in the falling rates of HIV prevalence in the province since its initial roll out early last year.
This new deal was said to have been personally brokered by Jasper King himself when he visited the company’s headquarters in Pinelands last month, which is fitting as many of the scientists who developed the cure were graduates of the Project H Academy.
It was King’s eagerness to finally get rid of the Aids curse once and for all that prompted him to get involved with the deal, even going so far as digging into his own pockets to get the ball rolling immediately, which is not always the case with government who always has piles of red tape to plough through first.
Already yesterday, premier Maurice Jacobs announced at the Gugulethu community health clinic that in two of the province four health regions – the Cape Town metro and the West Coast/Winelands – 100% coverage has been achieved.
In the next couple of months, the entire province would have 100% coverage, making the drug accessible to every person who is HIV-positive, wherever they may live.
In previous years the biggest burden of disease was in the 15 to 30 age group, especially among people in their 20s where prevalence rates of up to 18% was the norm.
The provincial health ministry announced its regional statistics yesterday. They show how the sub-epidemics in Khayelitsha and Gugulethu/Nyanga, which were of crisis proportions only five years ago, have now subsided.
Last week the national Health Department released its National HIV and Syphilis Antenatal Sero-prevalence Survey, showing that the Western Cape now has a mere 5,7% HIV prevalence rate, down significantly from the highs of 13.1% experienced in 2003.
In terms of HIV prevalence by district, major areas of improvement were: Gugulethu/Nyanga at 9%; Khayelitsha 8%; Helderberg 7.6%; Knysna/Plettenberg Bay 5.8%; Caledon/Hermanus 4.9% and Mossel Bay/Langeberg 3.6%.
The survey was conducted at 374 healthcare facilities in 25 health districts, and included nearly 7500 people.