Dr Reon van Dyk, a Cape Town specialist physician, founded Life Centre in 2005 to serve people living with HIV (PLHIV). A team consisting of a dietician, nurse, counsellor, and later also Dr Piotr Budnik were enlisted to enable a multidisciplinary approach of “managing positive lives”.
Now, thanks to more affordable and efficient antiretrovirals (ARVs), HIV has mostly become an easily manageable chronic medical condition, with a normal life-expectancy for PLHIV. A diagnosis of being “HIV positive” no longer has to lead to AIDS and early death.
Stigma, however, remains a problem, as well as some medication side-effects, adherence concerns, and TB – still the most common cause of death for PLHIV in SA.
Life Centre is now owned by Dr Tabie Greyling and Dr Du Toit vd Merwe. Both are infectious diseases specialist physicians with a passion for working with HIV, as well as other infections, including TB, multidrug-resistant organisms, travel-related infections, and newly emerging infections, like the coronavirus responsible for Covid-19.