Today's Big Stories

HIV positive people to get treatment regardless of their CD4 count

According to Health Minister Dr Aaron Motsoaledi, HIV positive people will from now on be put on treatment regardless of the CD4 cell count. The department started implementing the universal test and treatment programme on Thursday.

Previously, only HIV positive people with a CD4 cell count of less than 500 were put on treatment.

Motsoaledi says on the new programme when a person is tested and diagnosed of HIV, that person will be put on treatment immediately.

It doesn't matter, as long as you are HIV positive we put you on treatment immediately.

Dr Aaron Motsoaledi, Health Minister

Motsoaledi also mentioned that the rate of HIV infection in young women between 15-24 is prevalent in Southern and Eastern African countries. He says there are 5 000 new infections every week and half of those are South Africans.

Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa launched a programme that deals specifically with women in that age group and the men who impregnate them. He says teenage pregnancy in that age group is still a big problem and getting out of control in this country.

Listen to the full interview below:

Dr. Rajesh Patel, head of risk and benefit at the board of healthcare funders spoke to 702's John Robbie on whether this new programme will be easily adopted by medical schemes.

According to Patel, when the Minister makes an announcement on the new programmes he makes it for the entire country both public and private sector.

As we sit and talk right now, it is applicable to the medical schemes as well

Dr. Rajesh Patel, head of risk and benefit at the board of healthcare funders

Anyone who is tested and diagnosed of HIV, their medical aid is liable for paying for their HIV treatment as of this week. Patel says Minister Motsoaledi is the Minister of the whole country and not just the public sector. This new programme is a national guideline, he says.

Listen below:

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