Over 6000 patients on FDC pill in NW

Monday, July 15, 2013

Pretoria - In an effort to improve adherence to HIV and Aids treatment and patient outcomes in the North West, a total of 6 342 eligible HIV positive patients have been initiated on the new Fixed Dose Combination (FDC) pill treatment.

The Provincial Health Department reported that since its introduction in April 2013, the number of patients on the new FDC,  includes 2 882 pregnant women and breastfeeding mothers, 3 229 new infections and 231 patients that were switched from the three drugs to FDC due to side effects or adverse events.

The new pill is a combination of all three antiretroviral pills emtricitabine, efavirenz and tenofovir. It is being administered to all newly diagnosed patients that are eligible to be put on ARV treatment, pregnant women and HIV positive breastfeeding mothers.

The pill is easy to take, highly effective with fewer or no side effects and it is in no way inferior to taking three individual drugs.

Health MEC Dr Magome Masike has expressed his satisfaction with the department’s progress in rolling out FDC. He said that a significant number of clinical health professionals in the province have already been trained on the FDC to rollout to eligible groups in 315 health facilities currently providing antiretroviral treatment.

“We are also happy with the progress we are making in the fight against HIV and Aids. However, I must say that there is more that needs to be done especially in getting more men to test,” said Masike.

The province is currently providing antiretroviral treatment to about 186 777 patients. – SAnews.gov.za


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