The National, Thursday, April 28, 2011
By JAMES APA GUMUNO
ONLY 2,000 out of the 6,000 people reportedly living with HIV/AIDS in Western Highlands are on antiretroviral (ART) drugs.
And the provincial AIDS council is now appealing to the other 4,000 who had been reluctant to visit voluntarily counselling and testing centres in their districts to get the first line ART treatment.
Provincial response coordinator Joshua Meninga said the voluntary counselling and testing centres had not run out of the drugs nor had access to the drugs stopped.
Meninga said there were enough drugs available to all the people living with the virus.
He added that he could not understand why people did not seek treatment.
He said this was the latest statistic for last year sent back to the province this year, by the National AIDS Council Secretariat after all the voluntary counselling and testing centres in the province had submitted their reports.
He said most people living with the virus were women aged between 15 and 34.
He said the centres at Rabiamul, Tininiga clinic, Kudjip White House and Maria Kwin were overcrowded with people seeking help.
Meninga said health workers working in those centres needed to go for refresher courses to deal with the influx of people coming in.
He said other voluntary centres sent their reports directly to the NACS.
He said Tininga clinic clearly showed a decline in new infection rate.
He said the 2008 report showed 448 new cases recorded, of this 330 were on ART drugs.
He said in 2009, 439 new cases were recorded and 323 were put on first line ART drug and this showed there was a decrease in the number of new cases.
Meninga said there were 1,500 people on ART drugs from 2006 to last year.
He said 57% of them were female.
He said of the 196 people with the virus, 118 had been on ART drugs.