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The clinical and human rights challenges pertaining to HIV/AIDS and TB co-infection in South Africa.

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Prior to 1990, HIV/AIDS and TB co infection was not a major public health threat in South Africa (SA). The serious ignorance and negligence on the part of then SA government with regard to HIV/AIDS led to the increase of this disease. With the increase of the burden of HIV/AIDS and related infections such as TB, various international, regional and national stakeholders have strongly advocated that people living with HIV deserve special protection because of their vulnerability. In SA, laws, courts and the creation of the National Strategic Plan (NSP) on AIDS, STIs and TB have played an important role in the management and control of these diseases. However, the scarcity of the health care personnel, the persistence of stigma and discrimination and the lack of adequate infrastructure and information among the population continue to challenge government efforts. Similarly, the deficiency of healthcare equipment, drugs interaction and lack of patient compliance to the proposed therapy undermine health prevention and treatment measures. Therefore, research has shown clinical, ethical and legal challenges that arise from HIV/AIDS and TB co infection. Despite the international laws and guidelines and standards set by international bodies (such as the WHO and UNAIDS), the constitution of SA and various laws and government health policies for the management of these diseases, results are still mediocre in relation to government efforts, international standards and the intensity of these diseases elsewhere. Additionally, the persistent stigma and discrimination in different areas, the impact of patent rights on the availability of ARV and TB drugs and poor health care service delivery have affected the management of HIV/AIDS and TB. The dissertation was prompted by the need to make a contribution to the current body of literature on HIV/AIDS and TB co infection in SA by investigating how the management of these diseases can be improved and sustained in a way that helps to protect the rights of those people living with HIV and TB co infection. As a result of the analysis conducted, it is evident that the efficacy of the management and control of HIV and TB co infection programme also depends on the revision of patent laws to promote manufacturing of medications and materials, consolidating counselling to encourage patients, community, and healthcare workers, among others. Additionally, the increase in spending on these diseases and in human resources as well as in political commitment are essential to the management of these infections.


Master of Laws. University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban, 2014.