Teachers in dire need of ARVs - study

South Africa needs 90 percent antiretroviral (ARV) coverage for HIV-positive teachers, or AIDS could claim more than 5,000 annually, the Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC) has warned.

In a study published in the Journal of Social Aspects of HIV/AIDS, HSRC pointed to the precarious health status of HIV-positive teachers and examined the impact of ARVs on the number of deaths among the teachers.

"By 2010, the recommended ARV coverage could result in a 50 percent reduction in AIDS-related deaths," local newspaper The Cape Argus quoted the study's authors, Dr olive Shisana and Prof Thomas Rehle, as saying.

The experts said it was critical that the Department of Education act swiftly to avert an "acute crisis".