DoH uses media to communicate FDC info
The South African Department of Health (DoH) has recently taken the proactive step of flighting a number of full-page advertisements in the local media to raise awareness of the single-dose HIV treatment which was rolled out in the beginning of this month.
The DoH’s recognition of the important role that mass media can play in communicating important HIV information to the general public is commendable.
HIV and HIV treatment are complex issues that are still not well understood by a significant portion of the population, and utilising all possible ways of reaching out to inform potential patients is an important step in addressing HIV.
The choice of news publications – such as the Sowetan and the Sunday Sun – in which the DoH elected to publish the ads reflects the government’s awareness of HIV risk as it applies to particular populations and groups. However, it should not be forgotten that HIV – while perhaps more prevalent in certain populations for socioeconomic reasons – is a nationwide problem that affects everyone and anyone.
The single-pill FDC drug, which is being integrated into the national antiretroviral treatment programme in phases, is currently available to new patients eligible for ART and to pregnant and breastfeeding mothers.