Again! Shortage Of Critical HIV, AIDS Drugs In Dimapur Reported - Eastern Mirror
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Nagaland

Again! Shortage of critical HIV, AIDS drugs in Dimapur reported

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By Our Correspondent Updated: Oct 25, 2018 1:27 am

Our Correspondent
Kohima, Oct.24 (EMN): There are reports that the Dimapur Antiretroviral Therapy (ART) centre is facing shortage of essential Antiretroviral (ARV) drugs, Atazanavir and Ritonavir. The medications are a combination of essential drugs used in the treatment of HIV and AIDS for people who are using the second-line of Antiretroviral Therapy (ART).

Second-line ART is the treatment regimen used in a sequence immediately after the first-line therapy fails, sources informed.

Sources told Eastern Mirror that the drugs were completely out of stock in Dimapur since October 1, and people living with HIV (PLHIV) using the regime were being asked to procure the drugs from own expenses. The cost of the drugs for a month is reportedly INR 2, 500, which many cannot afford.

With the intervention of some nongovernmental organisations who raised the issue with the Nagaland State AIDS Control Society (NSACS) and the National AIDS Control Organisation, a temporary quick-fix solution was arranged. 30 boxes of said drugs were allocated, which arrived at the Dimapur ART centre on Oct. 12 from the Kohima ART centre’s quota, available information said.

However, sources said that many people were on the 2nd line of the ART regime. 300 people were issued a ten-day supply of the drugs, but it went out of stock on Oct. 23, placing the health of PLHIV at great risk.

Expressing grave concern at the shortage of the drugs, another source said if those using the regime stop taking the drugs continuously, they will develop drug resistance. Subsequently, they shall have to go for the third-line ART. To avail the regime, they will have to go to Imphal in Manipur as there is no facility for a third line ART in Nagaland, the source added.

Even as the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) and Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) (Prevention and Control) Act of 2017 was announced through a gazette on Sep. 10 for implementation, the health of PLHIV in the state is being subjected to crisis time and again due to issues concerning supply of essential drugs.

The Act seeks to protect and secure the human rights of persons who are HIV positive, or those affected by HIV, and for effective care, support and treatment, besides other provisions.

Previously too, the ART centres across the state had reported ‘stock out’ the Nevirapine syrup meant for infants born to HIV positive mothers since August 31, and which continued for a month except for temporary arrangements made by the NSACS.

Atazanavir, sold under the trade name Reyataz among others, is an antiretroviral medication used to treat and prevent HIV/AIDS. It is generally recommended for use with other antiretrovirals. It may be used for prevention after a needlestick injury or other potential exposure.

Ritonavir, sold under the trade name Norvir, is an antiretroviral medication used along with other medications to treat HIV/AIDS. This combination treatment is known as highly active antiretroviral therapy. (Info on medication: Web)

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By Our Correspondent Updated: Oct 25, 2018 1:27:50 am
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