With over 7 million people in South Africa infected it’s clear that HIV/AIDS knows no social class, boundaries, age or sexuality. This disease affects more than just the carrier but also their families, friends and society as a whole. However, with the right treatment and support, HIV can be a manageable chronic disease.
Bestmed has implemented an HIV/AIDS management programme which aims to improve the lives of those living with HIV/AIDS – and also their dependants. By supporting you emotionally, and ensuring you have the correct medicine available, we help you live a healthy and productive life.
What is HIV/AIDS?
The Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) attacks the body’s immune system which helps you fight off infections. HIV reduces the number of CD4 cells (T cells) in the body making you more likely to get other infections or infection-related cancers. Over time these opportunistic infections or cancers take advantage of a very weak immune system and signal that you have Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS) – the last stage of HIV.
Unlike some other viruses the human body can’t get rid of HIV completely even with treatment. So, once you get HIV, you have it for life.
How do you get HIV/AIDS?
HIV is found in the following bodily fluids of someone living with the virus:
- Semen and pre-seminal fluid (“pre-cum”)
- Rectal fluids/anal mucous
- Vaginal fluids
For you to get HIV these bodily fluids need to get into your blood through a mucous membrane (for example, the linings of the vagina and rectum or the opening of the penis) via shared injection equipment, or through broken skin (such as cuts or sores in the mouth or tears around the anus). It can also be spread from mother to child during pregnancy.
Our HIV/AIDS management programme
Our disease management programme has been specifically designed to treat HIV/AIDS as a chronic disease by using effective anti-retroviral therapy to control viral replication. The treatment can have dramatic life-changing results but it’s imperative that the treatment is taken in a controlled manner. We do this through close monitoring and working alongside the treating physician to ensure the best possible outcome.
Your treatment is based on funding guidelines depending on the stage of your disease and the results of your blood tests. Cover is also provided for mother-to-child transmission in pregnancy and post-exposure to preventative treatment.
Depending on your stage of infection we’ll offer you the following benefits:
- HIV/AIDS monitoring blood tests
- GP and specialist consultations
- Prescribed medicine
- Hospital treatment
- Ongoing patient support via a team of trained and experienced counsellors
To unlock your HIV/AIDS programme benefits you’ll have to register as below:
- Call the LifeSense helpline on 086 050 6080.
- LifeSense will send you an application form which has to be completed by you or your dependant and your treating doctor.
- Your doctor will submit your form to LifeSense with your blood-test results.
- LifeSense will send an approved treatment plan, based on your unique case, to your doctor.
- The LifeSense disease management case manager will keep in regular contact to give you assistance and support in using your medicine correctly.
If you’re responding well your medicine will be continued. If you’re not responding well to your treatment LifeSense will review and make appropriate recommendations to your doctor in order to change your treatment.
If you are receiving treatment for tuberculosis, or you are diagnosed with it, you must let LifeSense know about this.
HIV/AIDS is a sensitive matter whether one has the condition or not. Our HIV healthcare team will always deal with any HIV/AIDS-related query or case with complete respect and confidentiality.
Choosing a DSP Pharmacy
You will have to choose a designated service provider (DSP) pharmacy to dispense your anti-retroviral therapy. Please let LifeSense know which one you have chosen so we can send appropriate paperwork to that DSP.
BESTMED HIV/AIDS DSP CONTACT LIST:
Contact centre: 086 050 6080
Fax: 086 080 4960
CLICKS DIRECT MEDICINE (COURIER PHARMACY)
Contact centre: 086 144 4405
Fax: 086 144 4414
Emergency contact: 010 210 3364 or 010 210 3330
CLICKS RETAIL PHARMACIES
Contact centre: 086 073 7328
Fax: 021 460 6752
DIS-CHEM DIRECT (PREVIOUSLY OPTIPHARM COURIER PHARMACY)
Contact centre: 011 589 2788
Fax: 086 641 8311
Emergency contact: 083 564 9978
DIS-CHEM RETAIL PHARMACIES
Contact centre: 011 589 2604
Website: www.dischem.co.za/ › storelocator
MEDIPOST COURIER PHARMACY
Contact centre: 012 426 4000
Fax: 086 688 9867
Chronic medicine (after hours): 087 098 0400
If you want more information, please contact us on 0860 002 378 or email email@example.com for a confidential conversation.