There has been a 100% increase in the number of patients on antiretroviral treatment at Cape Town clinics in the last five years, and HIV testing is exceeding set targets, the City of Cape Town said in a statement.
The City has continued to make progress in the last five years in scaling up the availability of antiretroviral treatment (ART) to HIV positive patients.
According to a survey cinducted by the Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC), approximately 1 in 20 people in Cape Town are HIV positive. Without ART, infection with HIV causes a gradual decline in the function of the immune system, which leads to higher rates of opportunistic infections such as cancers, tuberculosis and early death.
Effective treatment with ART leads to suppression of HIV, and the recovery of the immune system. This helps reduce the risk of illness and prolongs life. Recent evidence has also show that ART drastically reduces the risk of transmitting HIV to sexual partners.
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