Q and A


How can I hold on to my job and take leave to get to my clinic?

I am a patient with HIV and TB at a clinic near Johannesburg. We are advised to eat healthy foods, and take the medications the same time daily. But our next booked dates are not negotiable with doctors or nurses at the clinic. Sometimes we are booked twice in one month – on 2 different dates. This hampers our jobs. Often you must take leave just to collect your meds. You also have responsibilities to earn a living to buy the healthy food your family needs. But you might end up defaulting on treatment because you can’t take time off work for the clinic. Then you have the risk of drug resistance.


This sounds really tough. It’s not easy to earn a living and get a contract where your employer gives you time off to attend the clinic.

Robin has already given details for Treatment Action Campaign on a similar question, How do I know if that I am getting the right care. You can contact them for help.

But at the IAS conference in Durban this week they announced a new way to get your meds. Right to Care South Africa say, ‘We developed South Africa’s latest weapon against HIV: street dispensers for antiretrovirals. This means that patients will no longer need to join five-hour-long queues for their medication.’

I’m in the UK, but Right to Care South Africa might be able to help. The Right to Care web site is here:

And here is their Facebook page:

I don’t know if you can access this service because it’s sounds very new. I’m not sure if your TB meds can be dispensed in the same way. But contacting them might be a good idea. Please let me know how you get on.

Best wishes,


  1. Roy Trevelion

    Sorry, this was a Q&A about how you manage to work all your shifts and still find time to go to the clinic and get your meds.

    Dispensing ARVs from a street dispenser should help avoid travelling long distances to your clinic and then queuing when you get there.

  2. Sai

    Will I get these kind of jobs in India? Finding job with HIV is difficult in India.

    I’m an engineering graduate in computer science with good experience in Microsoft technologies. If you provide info that would be great help. Thanks in advance.


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