Although 7 million people in South Africa currently live with HIV/ AIDS, according to the UNAIDS Gap report for 2016 only 48% have access to antiretroviral treatment (ARV).
This means 52% of South African HIV patients are currently untreated and more has to be done to give access to them.
The 1st of December was World AIDS Day and to commemorate the occasion Cipla invited Cape Talk and host Kieno Kammies to broadcast his show from the Cape Town Head Office. This was the start of a day of activities to acknowledge this important day.
Cipla’s Global CEO, Umang Vohra was interviewed via conference call while South Africa’s CEO, Paul Miller joined Kieno in the boardroom to discuss the importance of being fully informed about HIV/AIDS.
Paul Miller explained how staggering the figures in South Africa are for 2016; there were 380 000 new HIV infections and 180 000 AIDS-related deaths reported this year alone.
He emphasized the importance for each patient with HIV/ Aids to have access to affordable ARV treatment that is effective and Cipla’s commitment to achieving this goal.
Paul Miller explains; “Currently, Cipla is manufacturing more than eight million HIV product units every year, which is significantly higher than the contracted amount of 5.9 million treatments per year required by the government. We are currently providing treatment to approximately 650 000 people with HIV and AIDS in South Africa,”
Cipla continues to work hard at increasing our capacity to manufacture larger quantities of HIV medicines.
Sadly out of the 37 million people living with HIV globally, 26 million are from sub-Saharan Africa. Two-thirds of the world’s new HIV infections all happen in these areas.
After the morning radio show both the Cipla and Cape Talk teams dressed up in red to signify World Aids Day, decorated some cupcakes and proceeded to hand these out at the Cipla Foundation South Africa Owethu Health Clinic initiative in Stellenbosch.
Finally the day ended off with the screening of the film The Fire in The Blood at Cipla Head Office. This compelling documentary exposes how pharmaceutical companies and governments deliberately blocked access to low-cost AIDS drugs for African countries causing over 10 million deaths from their actions and the group of people that fought back lead by Cipla Chairman Dr Yusuf Khwaja Hamied.