South Africa makes progress in HIV/AIDS fight
JOHANNESBURG (AP) â” In the early 90s when South Africa’s Themba Lethu clinic could only treat HIV/AIDS patients for opportunistic diseases, many would come in on wheelchairs and keep coming to the health center until they died.
Two decades later the clinic is the biggest ARV (anti-retroviral) treatment center in the country and those who are brought in on wheelchairs, sometimes on the brink of death, are walking within weeks.
Such stories of hope and progress are readily available Saturday on World AIDS Day 2012 in sub-Saharan Africa where the U.N says deaths from AIDS-related causes have declined by 32 percent from 2005 to 2011.
As people around the world celebrate a reduction in the rate of HIV infections, the growth of the clinic reflects how changes in treatment and attitude toward HIV/AIDS have moved South Africa forward.