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Getting To Zero
27 Aug 2015 - 10:09

by Nathan Seppa

People infected with HIV benefit from starting a drug regimen early, an international study finds.HIV depletes immune cells called CD4 T cells. Normally there are 500 to 1,200 of these cells per cubic millimeter of blood. HIV can drive that amount below 350 or 250, levels that have typically marked starting points for treatment. Some evidence had suggested that treating HIV-positive people before those benchmarks could have benefits.

27 Aug 2015 - 09:58


Botswana's court of appeal has upheld a ruling that foreign prisoners should receive free treatment for HIV/Aids, rights lawyers say. Foreign prisoners were previously expected to pay for their own medication, unlike local inmates.Two HIV-positive prisoners had challenged the government's refusal to pay for their anti-retrovirals (ARVs).

The UN estimates that about 25% of people aged between 15 and 49 are HIV-positive in Botswana. A year ago the High Court ruled in favour of the two prisoners and the Botswana Network on Ethics, Law and HIV/Aids (Bonela), which backed their case. But the state appealed against the decision.

26 Aug 2015 - 08:52

Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) will be providing free HIV testing and counselling services as well as conducting CD4 screening at this year’s Harare Agricultural Show as part of efforts to encourage more people to know their HIV status and seek treatment early.

By Phyllis Mbanje
News Day

Medical experts say seeking treatment early is a key condition to be able to live a long and healthy life with HIV and MSF will be using its mobile van for the testing services.

Those who test positive will have an opportunity to know their CD4 count, which will determine if they qualify to start treatment. A CD4 count is an important indicator of how well one’s immune system is working.

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