March 24, 2009

Getting better

I was driving into town the other week and gave this woman, Nomvuyo, and her son a ride.
It turns out she was going to the Infectious Diseases clinic for her monthly visit to refill her anti-retroviral prescription. Nomvuyo is a smart and “with it” person so I asked her about her health progression. Almost exactly two years ago she started taking ARVs. Her CD4 count at the time was 53. Now her CD4 count is 695. Not bad!

(It’s possible she was the beneficiary of a mix-up at the lab, something that I have long suspected happens, and that her first CD4 count was someone else’s. She mentioned that when she had a low CD4 count she didn’t feel sick at all, which could confirm this. It’s good for her but less good for whoever really had a CD4 count of 53.)

ARVs work. The challenge is getting them to everyone who needs them.