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SOUTH AFRICA: Children fall through gaps in ARV roll out

[This report does not necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations]

JOHANNESBURG, 26 June (PLUSNEWS) - South Africa's antiretroviral (ARV) roll out is failing its HIV-infected children, a new study has found.

An analysis of 16 ARV programmes in five provinces, revealed that the needs of infected children are not being prioritised, with paediatric ARV treatment lagging behind adult treatment and many children receiving treatment too late or not at all.

The survey, conducted by the University of Cape Town in collaboration with the Population Council, an international NGO, also shed light on mortality figures recently released by Statistics South Africa showing the number of deaths among children under four increased from 35,000 in 1997 to 55,000 in 2004.

The biggest constraint to children accessing treatment was the lack of health workers with training in managing HIV and AIDS in children. Another major concern was the lack of integration between prevention of mother-to-child transmission (PMTCT) programmes and ARV programmes for children, the report said.

The study's authors called on the government to introduce a specific paediatric budget that would promote earlier identification of HIV-infected children and standardized training for health professionals.



Recent SOUTH AFRICA Reports
Contrasting HIV-positive lives,  30/Jun/06
New strategies needed to meet shortfalls says Global Fund report,  29/Jun/06
New AIDS threat looms,  19/Jun/06
Govt wants to monitor PEPFAR funding,  12/Jun/06
HIV-positive Muslims take comfort in their faith,  26/May/06
· AIDS Media Center
· The Global Fund to fight AIDS, Tuberculosis & Malaria
· International Community of Women Living with HIV/AIDS
· International HIV/AIDS Alliance

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