AIDS treatment saves lives - February 2011

AIDS treatment saves lives

Highly Active Anti-Retroviral Therapy (HAART) can completely change the life of an AIDS patient who would otherwise be doomed to die soon, allowing him or her to continue living for many years to decades with good well-being.


They had to die
because they could not get the treatment they needed (at that time).
could not get it:

"AIDS: Four-year-old Thembinkosi dies".
ProSieben 9.4.2002







Pictures from the article
Brotherhood of Blessed Gérard -
Rundbrief Nr. 27 -
Geschenk des Herrn




Hundreds of AIDS patients
are alive and well today
because in our AIDS treatment programme
they get the life-saving help they need:

"A heaven of care in the midst of AIDS hell".
Radio Gloria 1.12.2010

Celebration of Life on World AIDS Day 1.12.2010:

Then it was the turn of one of the patients to speak candidly about what she thinks about the HAART programme and how it feels to live daily as an HIV positive person. Her statements caused a high degree of emotion as she lives positively with the HIV infection.

Greetings to you all!
My name is Claudette Louw. I grew up in Mangete and now live in Mandeni. I am 42 years old. I have been working in a big supermarket in Sundumbili for 20 years. In April 2004, I fell ill for three months and went to different doctors without getting better. Finally I was admitted to the hospital in Stanger. I vomited when I tried to eat something and I was sick of the smell of food, even the smell of perfume.

The doctors told me I had stomach ulcers and advised me not to eat any more tomatoes or spicy food, etc. I was taken out of hospital after two days. After two days I was discharged from the hospital. I went to my aunt and told her that I was sick and did not know what was causing my illness. She made an appointment for me with her doctor in Durban.

I went to see this doctor. He did an ultrasound scan and told me that I had stomach ulcers. He referred me to McCord Hospital for an X-ray of my abdomen. I went there and the doctor who examined me asked me what complaints I had and I told him I had been diagnosed with stomach ulcers. He advised me to have an HIV test, then he could take care of me further. I had a counselling session before the test and they asked me why I wanted to have an HIV test. I explained to them that I had been sick for three months and was not getting better.

They did the blood test and waited five minutes. Then the result came back on a small piece of paper in a sealed envelope. I hesitated for a while before finally opening the envelope. It said "HIV TEST POSITIVE" and the CD4 count was 254. Tears came to my eyes and I thought that my life was about to end. I asked the hospital for permission to call my employer and they agreed. I called my boss and could not speak because I was close to crying. I told her (Mrs Taljard) that I wanted to commit suicide and she asked me what problem I had. I told her that I was HIV positive. She spoke to me in these words, "Claudette, we love you, think of your child!" At that time my child was 12 years old. Afterwards, I called my aunt to pick me up because I was ready now. When we got to the house, she asked me if everything had gone well with the doctor. I told her in tears that I had the HIV. She cried because she thought I would die soon now and I cried at the thought of leaving this world.

We went back home and told the whole family. They said that I was not the first and not the last and that life goes on. I trust that many people know that antiretroviral drugs were not free at that time. I had to buy them for 900 rand (= 100 euros) every month. My family helped me buy the antiretroviral drugs for the first five months. This medicine made me nauseous, but I kept taking it. It was not easy. I was avoiding people because I had lost so much weight (six dress sizes!). In October 2004, I heard that HIV people were welcome at Blessed Gérard's Hospice. From then on, I got the antiretroviral drugs for free because I just couldn't afford them anymore, despite the help of my family, and currently my CD4 count is 1128.

Today I would like to thank all the people who helped me at my workplace, at Blessed Gérard's Hospice HAART programme, my family and friends. Their help enabled me to live my life to the fullest.

I would like to conclude by saying:
AIDS does not kill - displacement is the cause of death.
Another important thing is that antiretroviral drugs are not compatible with traditional (African) medicines and concoctions.

I love you all!

There are many people who have been helped in my workplace because of me. I thank you!"

(Note: Ms Louw explicitly agreed that her speech and pictures could be published).

Quoted from:
Brotherhood of Blessed Gérard -
Newsletter No. 30 -
Celebration of Life on World AIDS Day 2010

During the conversation, the counsellor inquires about the state of health and asks, for example, an AIDS patient to have herself and her baby examined by the doctor again in the hospice.

The woman has given birth to a healthy baby girl. Precautions can be taken before and during birth so that the child is not infected with the HI virus at birth. If the mother is diagnosed with the disease early, antiretroviral treatment can be started in time to reduce the exposure to the virus to a minimum. ...

Two days later I see the woman with her girl in the waiting room of the hospice and we wave happily to each other.

quoted from:
Brotherhood of Blessed Gérard -
Newsletter No. 29 -
The great hope in the fight against AIDS -
The HAART Clinic



We urgently need your help!

Our second largest sponsor, the US government, has drastically cut its grants for AIDS aid in Africa. This also affects the AIDS treatment programme of the South African Catholic Bishops' Conference.

treatment programme,

which has been part of the South African Bishops' Conference programme, will no longer receive funding from America.  

In plain language, this means that we will have to close a funding gap of 305,505.70 Euros (396,236.46 CHF) per year.

The subsidy from the Bishops' Conference was 2.62 Euros (3.40 CHF) per patient per day last year 2010.  

If we take into account the inflation or inflation rate for this year 2011 and the fact that the subsidy that was removed had not covered all the costs of our AIDS treatment programme up to now either, we have to round up and, so to speak, ask for a

sponsorship for an AIDS patient

 and ask for

Euro per   Swiss Franc
3 day   4
21 week   28
92 month   122
274 quarter year   365
548 half year   730
1095 year   1460
in year 2011.

We are well aware that such amounts are beyond the means of many individuals. Therefore, we ask you to approach your parish, your club, your Rotary/Lions/Round Table Club, your school or school class, your group, your association, etc., to see if they could take on one or more such sponsorships.

He is allowed to live - and is now squeaky clean and a good student - because he, as one of hundreds, gets the help necessary for survival through our AIDS treatment programme and he needs it, like all of us, twice a day until the end of his life.
Help us help!

by making a donation
in favour of our work.

Please give your bank a standing order or give us a direct debit mandate!

Donation account in Germany: Account holder:
Brotherhood of Blessed Gerhard e.V.
Account No. 12021
Savings Bank Neuburg - Rain
BANK CODE: 721 520 70
IBAN: DE37 7215 2070 0000 0120 21

Tax-deductible donation receipts
(only for donations to this account!)
will be issued if the sender is
will be gladly issued.

Donation account in Austria:

Account holder:
Abbey of the Missionary Benedictines of
St. Georgenberg-Fiecht
"Donation account P. Gerhard Lagleder OSB".
Account No. 656975
Raiffeisen Landesbank Tyrol
Bank code: 36000
IBAN: AT74 3600 0000 0065 6975

Donation account in Switzerland:
Account holder:
Helvetic Association FONDAHOM
IBAN: CH26 0026 0260 3830 4040R
Note: South Africa (don't forget!)

For more information on the best way to send us donations within Germany, England, the USA, South Africa or the rest of the world, please go online to: Donate to the Brotherhood of Blessed Gérard.

I will be travelling through Europe in March to May 2011 with the aim of getting as many such sponsorships as possible and will be happy to come to events and talks to present my cause personally in words and pictures.

I think the goal can be achieved if many people help.

So I remain hopeful that we can continue to help the hundreds of AIDS patients whose survival depends on our help.

With warmest regards  

Your Father Gerhard

Blessed Gérard's Hospice HAART programme is a programme of Blessed Gérard's Hospice.
Blessed Gérard' Hospice is a project of Blessed Gérard's Care Centre, a non-profit organisation of the Brotherhood of Blessed Gérard.
The Brotherhood of Blessed Gérard is the relief organisation of the Order of Malta in South Africa.