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South Africa Announces Rollout Of New Single-Dose ARV Therapy

“South Africa’s Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi announced on Monday the launch of a new single-dose combination antiretroviral [ARV] drug that will cost just 89 rand a month ($10) per patient, potentially revolutionizing AIDS treatment in the country,” Salon reports (McDonough, 4/9). “The new pill will be introduced this month to positive pregnant women and breastfeeding mothers, people co-infected with [tuberculosis (TB)], and to new ARV patients,” Agence France-Presse writes, adding, “Patients already on treatment will be assessed by doctors to start switching later this year” (4/9). “Motsoaledi said the department had revised the guidelines for prevention of mother-to-child transmission, pediatric and adult treatment due to changes in the treatment regime for [fixed-dose combination (FDC)] ARVs,” a press release from the South African government states (4/8). “Health activists hailed the launch of the new fixed-dose combination ARV therapy … but there’s some concern about the state’s ability to deliver it to all who need the drug,” the New Age notes (Mhlana, 4/8).