See also:
» 08.02.2010 - Botswana youth get World Bank funding
» 21.07.2006 - Wide support for routine HIV testing - study
» 30.11.2005 - Botswana meets national AIDS treatment targets
» 05.01.2005 - "HIV-rate at 50% on Botswana-Namibia border"
» 20.12.2004 - Botswana HIV rate at 17, not 40 percent
» 16.12.2004 - Fidel Castro's "promise to Botswana fulfilled"
» 01.12.2004 - Women's vulnerability focused on Botswana AIDS Day
» 29.01.2004 - Is the African AIDS pandemic a bluff?

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Official reveals HIV/AIDS knowledge figures

Mmegi / afrol News, 3 April - A senior Ministry of Health official has said that the number of people who know their HIV/AIDS status in the country have increased by 20 percentage points since 2001. Operations manager of the Ministry of Health's MASA ARV programme Segolame Ramotlhwa said that when they rolled out the initiative in 2001, 90 percent of the people did not know their status.

But the number has since reduced to 70 percent. Ramotlhwa told a workshop on changing HIV/AIDS impact patterns in the wake of the ARV therapy that the ARV programmes have so far consumed at least P700 million. He said it is three to four times more costly to stabilise patients who join the programme when they are already sick. He said more resources and time are spent on such patients. Ramotlhwa said that by January this year, close to 60, 000 patients were enrolled in the programme. By 2009, 110,000 patients are expected to be on ARV. Ramotlhwa said they still face challenges of inadequate human resources and space and infrastructure. Other challenges are social-cultural such as fear of testing and stigma. When speaking on approaches to families affected by HIV/AIDS, the executive director of Botswana-Baylor Children's Clinical Centre of Excellence, Professor Gabriel Anabwani said that they have 220 families out of which 163 are on ARVs.

The Centre of Excellence has over a 1,000 children on care and treatment. He said between 10,000 and 20,000 children are living with HIV/AIDS in Botswana. The centre uses a family care model approach. Anabwani said they face the challenge of reaching out to untested family members, especially the men; overburdening the speciality clinic. The workshop was aimed at pooling knowledge and expertise about the current implications of ARV therapy. The organiser, Professor Fred Kruger from the Institute of Geography said there is need for more social research in Botswana and close monitoring of the ARV programme as the country can serve as a best practice.

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