Giving HIV Patients Quicker Access to Treatment

(August 2014)

Approximately 30% of the population of the province we serve in South Africa is HIV+? That is 1 out of 3!  Yet people are still quite ignorant about HIV and how the virus works.  One of our passions at Seed of Hope is to help people really understand HIV/AIDS in order to be fully prepared to fight this epidemic.

Two terms that all South Africans should know are CD4 count and viral load.  But when queried, only about 50% know what those terms mean.

– CD4 count – the number of T4 cells in a blood sample (T4 cells being your front line defense of your immune system)
– viral load – the amount of HIV in a blood sample

So with those two easy definitions, we can deduce that the higher the CD4 count is and the lower the viral load is, the healthier you are.

Thanks to one of our partner churches, Next Christian Community, in St. Albert, Alberta, Canada, and a local family in Alberta, we were able to purchase our very own CD4 analyser!

Now at Seed of Hope, we are able to do the HIV test and then if our client is HIV+, we can immediately offer them a CD4 count – to test the strength of their immune system. Depending on the outcome of that test, we offer them advice as to whether they are ready for anti-retroviral therapy yet.  This machine allows for further counselling and a more thorough service provision.

Previously, our clients would have to go to the government clinics to get their CD4 counts done – and wait for days to weeks for the results.

With our machine, the results take 20 minutes! So grateful that we are able to impact our community!