Treatment first, case number later

Friday, March 26, 2010
By: 
Gabi Khumalo

Johannesburg - Rape victims will no longer need a case number before getting treatment at health institutions said Health Minister, Dr Aaron Motsoaledi.

Motsoaledi said when a rape victim arrives at a health institution, they won't be asked to produce a case number before being treated.

"We can no longer allow hospital CEOs to send back rape survivors to the police station to get case numbers first before getting treatment."

Outlining the country's HIV Counselling and Testing (HCT) campaign to be launched next month,Motsoaledi said during the campaign, a number of activities will take place, including post exposure prophylaxis for rape survivors at all health facilities.

The country's largest ever HIV and AIDS campaign will be launched on 15 April at the Natalspruit Hospital, where government ministers and deputy ministers are expected to take the first test.

The campaign hopes to reach 15 million people by 2011.

Motsoaledi said during the campaign, the department will also embark on a plan to introduce medical male circumcision on a large scale.

"KwaZulu-Natal has already committed to conduct 2.5 million male circumcisions by 2015 and I have pledged to go down to KZN to perform 1000 of them by 2015," Motsoaledi said.

On the state of readiness for the implementation of the new HIV and AIDS policy to be implemented next week, Motsoaledi said 490 facilities are already providing ARVs to patients. The department hopes to add 500 more.

"Not all facilities will be able to provide treatment, but all health facilities will have treatment by June next year. 4 300 health facilities will be in a position to test people during the HCT launch."

The country needs 2.5 billion male condoms over the next year; 177 million condoms have been purchased for the initial phase of the campaign.

Ninety-one million condoms were distributed last week at all testing sites and will be handed over to 910 000 people.