HIV/ AIDS STATUS IN THE DISTRICT
ZF Mgcawu District consists of 5 local Municipalities three of them have launched their Local Aids Councils and two still needs to be launched. The District is moving swiftly and making strides towards the right direction by ensuring the mitigation of the impact of HIV/AIDS through introduction of intense social mobilisation in the entire District. HIV/AIDS is everybody’s business and therefore everybody needs to be capacitated in terms of prevention care and support.
The key intervention components to fight against the scourge are:
- 1.HIV Counselling and Testing
- 2.Voluntary male medical circumsion
- 3.High Transmission Areas
- 4.Male and female condom distribution
- 5.PMTCT Programme
- 6.Anti- retroviral treatment programme (ART)
- 7.Care and Support
30% of pregnant women attending prenatal facilities are HIV positive, PMTCT is therefore first priority. The Department of Health ensures that every pregnant woman accessing the services are offered HCT and those testing positive are being put on the PMTCT programme to protect the unborn children from the HI Virus. As this programme has been successful countrywide the main objective now is to aim for zero transmission.
Anti-Retroviral Programme (ART)
South Africa is one of the successful countries in rolling out the ART Programme. Linking and retaining in care of PLWHA has been the District focal area to ensure adherence to treatment and improving the quality of life. The introduction of the Fixed Dose Combination pill (FDC) made things simple and improved compliance and retention whereby patients are no longer taking three pills but one ARV pill. Registered nurses and few counsellors have been given orientation to adherence clubs sessions in order to improve adherence to HIV and TB medication. The new ART guidelines introduced in January 2015 has increased the ART threshold from 350-500 CD4 cell count which result in more PLWHA put on treatment and the quality of life being improved.