Fighting HIV and giving new hope
People living with HIV need treatment and care that takes into account medical and social issues alike. Newlands Clinic in Harare provides comprehensive services for around 7,000 HIV patients from the poorest backgrounds.
1/6: Sister Moreni talks with a young patient. Our goal is to support our patients, and to enable them to live their lives as independently as possible.
2/6: Blood tests are a key element of HIV treatment for monitoring the effectiveness of the therapy. Newlands Clinic has a well-equipped lab, which also carries out tests for other clinics.
3/6: After their check-up with their nurse, the patients can collect their medication directly from the Newlands Clinic pharmacy.
4/6: Patients who need nutritional support also receive basic foodstuffs directly at the clinic.
5/6: Newlands Clinic offers adolescents a place where they can meet and share their experiences. Group sessions and workshops also cover issues such as therapy adherence, depression and sexuality.
6/6: The next patients are waiting for their appointment. The waiting room at the clinic entrance is always busy.
(Photos: Patrick Rohr, Pia Zanetti)
Treating HIV calls for lifelong treatment to ensure that the virus cannot spread and lead to complicated and dangerous illnesses. There is great need for HIV treatment services in Zimbabwe. At Newlands Clinic, we focus on women, children and young people, and on people who perform a key role in their communities such as teachers and nurses.
Comprehensive treatment and support
The patients come to the clinic for an examination every one to three months. Our specially trained nurses know their medical histories and their circumstances exactly. They carry out most of the work themselves, supported by doctors where needed. The life-long therapy is closely monitored to identify treatment failure at an early stage and take appropriate action.
Newlands Clinic has a well-equipped lab where the patients’ viral load can be tested, and the clinic’s pharmacy makes sure that the needed medication is always available. Additional medical services such as women’s health services and dental care are also provided on site.
HIV Medication in Zimbabwe
Not all HIV medicines are available in Zimbabwe, and it is therefore all the more important that the patients adhere strictly to the treatment in order to prevent resistance developing.
1/3: First line therapy is the initial antiretroviral medicine that a patient receives for the treatment of HIV infection. This regimen of medicine is standardized in Zimbabwe and there is guidance on which specific medicines are preferred as the initial therapy for first line. In 2020, 67 % of our patients at Newlands Clinic were on the standard 1st line regimen.
2/3: When the virus stops being responsive to first line therapy, a patient needs to be switched to a different set of antiretroviral medicines which are capable of stopping the virus from replicating in the body. These next set of antiretrovirals are called second-line antiretroviral medicines. In 2020, 30 % of our patients at Newlands Clinic were on 2nd line regimen.
3/3: When the virus stops responding to second line medicines, the patient needs to be switched to a different set of antiretrovirals. These are capable of stopping the virus from replicating in the body. These new set of medicines are defined as third-line antiretroviral therapy. In 2020, 3 % of our patients at Newlands Clinic were on 3rd line regimen. Newlands Clinic also runs a national referral centre.