Varsity clinics to supply ARTs to students
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This comes after the adoption of a memorandum of understanding with the provincial Health Department, a statement from the university has said.
“According to the World Health Organisation, antiretroviral therapy (ART) consists of the combination of antiretroviral (ARV) drugs to maximally suppress the HI virus and stop the progression of HIV.
“ART also prevents onward transmission of HIV. The organisation recommends antiretroviral therapy for all people living with HIV as soon as possible after diagnosis without any restrictions of CD4 counts,” the statement explained.
Unizul nurse Samukelisiwe Zondi said antiretroviral drugs were nearly the same as the recognised antiretroviral medication (ARVs).
“The difference is that an HIV-infected person who is taking ARVs generally takes more than one pill to fight the virus while with ART medication, a person only takes one pill,” she said.
The university’s KwaDlangezwa and Richards Bay campus clinics are to be the first university clinics to provide the antiretroviral treatment services in KZN, Zondi said.
“We are honoured to be assisting the Unizul community and hope the staff members and students’ productivity levels will improve,” she said.
Sister Hlengiwe Mkhwanazi, Campus Health Clinic Head of Department, said she was excited about the Universal Test and Treat (UTT) programme now offered within Unizul’s campus clinics.
“We are grateful to the university’s executive management and the District Department of Health.
“We worked hard, hand-in-hand to ensure that we sign a service agreement so that our people get the medical help that they need without having to travel far,” she said.