Tue, May 27, 2003 - Page 7 News List

Poor South Africans prove they can use AIDS drugs

DISPELLING MYTHS Concerns that the health systems of Africa are too rudimentary to administer drug regimes are being disproved in a impoverished township in Cape Town

THE OBSERVER , CAPE TOWN

Project workers have also found anti-retrovirals to be viable in the treatment of children, with only 10 out of 94 of the youngsters being treated at Cape Town's Groote Schuur hospital dropping out.

"We used to have mothers in the ward rehearsing for the death of their child but that doesn't happen any more," said Paul Roux, a pediatrician. "There is no reason, with anti-retrovirals, why these children could not grow up to see their own children graduate from college."

Some of the mothers with HIV have also started receiving treatment, fleshing out what had been skeletal frames. Cradling her two-year-old son, Nomava, 20, said: "I thought we would both die soon, but now I want to become a civil engineer and watch him grow."

For Nazareth House, a home for orphans with HIV, things will never be the same. Sister Agnes Abrahams pondered the implications: "We will have to learn to talk about the future -- even to talk to them about sex."

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