26 November 2012

South Africa: Access to Treatment Worries HIV Patient

Lusikisiki — Twenty-two year old Olwethu Mhlanti from Mevana Administration Area in Lusikisiki was recently diagnosed with HIV. He is unsure about his future and has little faith in the Department of Health to ensure that he gets the medicine he needs.

"Three months ago I decided to go for an HIV tests and the results came back positive," Mhlanti told OurHealth. "I am supposed to start my first batch of treatment on December 4, but I'm worried about this."

Clinics in the Eastern Cape where he lives have suffered severe drug shortages in recent times. "What is happening at the Department of Health is disappointing. This shortage of drugs makes me very worried about the future: what is going to happen to my health? How many productive years do I have ahead of me? "

According to Mhlanti, the recent drug shortages at Eastern Cape clinics are making patients feel hopeless, and he is appealing to authorities to address the situation immediately. "As things are at the moment, we can't look forward to a long healthy life."

Mtshana Mvlisi is an OurHealth Citizen Journalist reporting from Lusikisiki in the OR Tambo health district in the Eastern Cape.

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