Too many clinics are in crisis and it is driving the continuing HIV epidemic. People are dying because of it, argue members of the Ritshidze Project as they launch a report into the state of public sector facilities in Gauteng.
Far too many people test positive for HIV in Gauteng and then never start HIV treatment. Of those who do start HIV treatment, far too many get pushed out of care in the province. In fact, Gauteng is one of the provinces lagging furthest behind in reaching the UNAIDS “90-90-90” HIV targets.
The good news is the province has nearly reached the first 90 — at least 89% of people living with HIV know their status. That should be the hard part. With that we should be able to turn the situation around, because people living with HIV can use HIV treatment to suppress the virus and avoid transmission.
But no. Instead, a cascade of problems in public clinics in the province is driving people away and HIV is continuing to spread in the space left behind.
Data from PEPFAR show that more people may have fallen out of care this year than started. We might be tempted to think…