Johannesburg - More than 4 000 HIV/Aids patients have defaulted on antiretroviral (ARV) treatment in Gauteng since 2011, the DA said on Tuesday.

Health MEC Hope Papo revealed in response to a question in the Gauteng legislature on Tuesday that 4 410 people had defaulted, said Democratic Alliance Gauteng health spokesman Jack Bloom.

Papo gave the major reasons for default as stigma, discrimination, and denial.

Some HIV-positive mothers failed to give their babies Nevirapine to prevent infection. Other people gave false addresses or returned to other provinces or countries.

“It is disturbing that so many people default on Aids treatment as this leads to ARV resistance and the need for expensive alternative treatment,” Bloom said.

“While some factors are outside the department's control, every effort should be made to ensure that Aids patients take their medicine,” he said. - Sapa