PHASING-OUT OF SINGLE-SEX
HOSTELS A ‘HUGE RELIEF’ When both mining health executives were asked about changes in accommodation for miners (the proportion of miners in singlesex hostels was 90% in early 2000), they said this had dropped to “well below 50%” by 2013, a hugely positive HIV and TB transmission risk reduction. Other positives in-cluded the sharing of HIV/ TB health services between richer and poorer mines.
Churchyard said that one of the most dramatic changes in national health policy recently was the introduction of continuous IPT for immune-compromised people for three years, making SA one of the first countries worldwide to add IPT to ART for longer than six months. He explained that IPT was “like an umbrella – it only protects you from the rain [of TB disease] for as long as you keep it up”. Adding IPT to the ART regimen meant that the national TB incidence could be kept down, thus reducing the pool of TB infectious people and having an overall population level impact. From less than 1% of all HIV infected South Africans on IPT five years ago (which he called inexcusable at the time), more than 370 000 of the 2.3m people on ART were now on IPT. This was in line with international best practice and the World Health Organisat i on guidelines. Churchyard revealed that the national TB rate had peaked in 2008 and has started to decline –
but even with a
Dr Aaron Motsoaledi