WINDHOEK – The ministry of health has started rolling out a more effective HIV drug that has fewer side effects as of Tuesday.
The drug also has high genetic barriers to developing resistance.
The drug is called Tenofovir/ Lamivudine/ Dolutegravir (TLD).
The US government, through funding from the United States President’s Emergency Plan for Aids Relief (Ppepfar) and support from the US Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the United States Agency for International Development (Usaid) is supporting the ministry with the transition to TLD.
Health ministry Executive Director Ben Nangombe and US Ambassador to Namibia Lisa Johnson launched the roll out of the medication at Nathaniel Maxuilili Clinic in Babylon informal settlement on Tuesday.
This come after the ministry announced last month that as from October, they will introduce this most advance HIV drug.
Namibia has over 200 000 people living with HIV. The country has gone beyond in achieving HIV fast track targets of the Unaids by ensuring that more than 90 percent of people living with HIV know their status, are on treatment and their viral load is suppressed.
“Today is a historic day because we are starting the transition to a new regimen in the treatment of HIV/Aids,” stated Nangombe.
Nangombe said they went to Johannesburg last year March at a gathering called COPP 19 where the implementation partners in HIV/Aids intervention met and a decision was taken that the treatment transition to TLD regimen starts on October 1, particularly for those clients who are testing positive for the first time.
“Therefore, it is historic for us that we were able to keep to our target and our goals in starting the transition this month. One important thing is that people are getting effective treatment and has less side effects and it will not be done in one go, as the word transition means we are going to take it step by step to ensure people get the treatment they need,” remarked Nangombe.
Ambassador Johnson added that this is the best medication available according to the WHO for HIV treatment. When asked about patients who throw away their medication, Johnson responded that the treatment is getting better and has less side effects. She said part of the drive is for people to adhere to their medication and make it easier for people to take their medication.
“We want to encourage people to stay on treatment because we find people are living long healthier lives. We are both trying to prevent and control the epidemic not to spread to other people but ensure that those who are positive live productive lives in community,” stressed Johnson.
2019-10-03 07:22:31 12 days ago