In the valley of death: Life without ARVs

Categories: Research.

We stood at the edge of a U-shaped valley in Dududu, south of Durban, and the hospice nurse pointed to the homes where her patients lived. She indicated to every third or fourth hut.

It was 2006, and although government had announced the ARV rollout two years previously, it had been too little, too late for many people whose immune systems were so damaged that they could not bounce back, even with the medication.

Sister Vicky Sikhosana and I then plunged down a rough track into the valley to visit the hospice patients.

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