LISTEN | Defaulting on treatment puts HIV and TB patients at higher risk for coronavirus

14 April 2020 - 14:34 By Modiegi Mashamaite
Doctors advise everyone with compromised immune systems to keep taking their medication, stay calm and follow all necessary precautions to avoid contracting the coronavirus.
Doctors advise everyone with compromised immune systems to keep taking their medication, stay calm and follow all necessary precautions to avoid contracting the coronavirus.
Image: Picture: 123RF/LEO LINTANG

LISTEN TO FIND OUT HOW THE VIRUS WILL AFFECT THOSE WITH HIV AND TB:

South Africa has 7.7-million people living with HIV and the highest number of tuberculosis-related deaths globally.

More than 80% of people who died of TB in 2016 were also infected with HIV.

Doctors and experts fear the coronavirus pandemic will have a tremendous impact on our health system and on those with compromised immune systems, and HIV specialists and experts Dr Julia Turner and Dr KD Mohamed advise TB and HIV patients to continue taking their medication, and not to panic.

Mohamed says HIV patients who are not taking their treatment and those who know their status but refuse to take treatment are at higher risk of contracting the coronavirus.

Dr Turner said it was imperative, now more than ever, for people to know their HIV status and to test for TB.

Turner advised everyone with compromised immune systems to take their medication and follow all necessary precautions to avoid getting the virus.


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