22.2 The benefits of ART
The benefits of ART can be divided into three — benefits to PLHIV, benefits to the health service, and benefits to the community at large, as described below.
Benefits of ART to the patient:
- Prolongs life and improves quality of life.
- Decreased stigma surrounding HIV infection, since treatment is now available.
- Households can stay intact, because patients survive for so much longer.
- Businesses and jobs can stay intact for the same reason.
- Reduces mother-to-child transmission of HIV.
- Less money is spent on treating opportunistic infections and providing palliative care (end-of-life care).
Benefits of ART to the health service:
- Increased number of people who accept HIV testing and counselling, because treatment is available.
- Increased motivation of health workers, since they feel they can do more for PLHIV.
Benefits of ART to the community:
- Decreased number of orphans.
- Increased awareness of HIV in the community, since more people accept HIV counselling and testing.