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Health Indicator Reports Show More HIV-Positive South Africans Receiving Care But Costs Increasing

Two new reports from southern Africa’s Health Systems Trust show that pregnant women, infants, and people newly diagnosed with HIV infection are receiving more services, but the costs of care are increasing, PlusNews reports. The annual District Health Barometer shows that about half of infants born to HIV-positive mothers are being tested for the virus at six weeks; almost all pregnant women are tested for HIV, helping to lower the rate of mother-to-child HIV transmission to below four percent nationwide; and about 70 percent of people newly diagnosed with HIV receive screening for tuberculosis (TB), according to the news service.

The South African Health Review, “an independent review of the public health sector funded by the South African government,” “notes that HIV/AIDS spending has increased substantially since 2007, [but] it predicts the country will need up to $5.3 billion extra every year to sustain its HIV/AIDS response, particularly treatment,” PlusNews writes. “The South African government already shoulders about 80 percent of its HIV treatment costs domestically, and authors of the review predict that treatment will be the main driver of the escalating costs of the country’s HIV/AIDS response,” according to the news service, which notes the review predicts that the number of people on antiretroviral treatment will double to three million by 2015 (2/27).

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