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Patients have been deprived of Anti HIV/AIDS Drugs

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Message Kamala Sarup
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We all are facing with the growing HIV/Aids epidemic and sad things in many countries where no free drugs are provided, the problem is worse. Thus,many positives patients have been deprived of CD-4 Cell Count facility, and ARV drugs.

Antiviral drugs is expensive and an effective. And also, anti HIV/AIDS vaccine is still not available.

Globally, patients only take the drugs when they can afford them. And also, they cannot afford the costly diagnosis, and treatment plans. Many medicines still are not available.

Dr Mark Nelson, director of HIV services at London's Chelsea and Westminster Hospital, said "patients were unlikely to be denied the drug because of its high cost".

When the cost of the medicine is high, the poor patients can't buy them. Even the check-up charge is costly. We need to cut down the prices. Price of ART had to be brought down to make it accessible for the poor.

As we know If CD-4 count is persistently below 500, the immune system is considered to be weak and increasing risk of infections.

It is very important to have CD-4 count measured regularly to monitor the immune system. It also helps monitor the effectiveness of any drugs the patient is taking.

Dr Edward Telzak, director of the Aids programme at the Bronx-Lebanon Hospital Center in New York, says "The medicines often don't make people feel well. Gastro-intestinal upsets, diarrhea, weakness, rashes, and some people have trouble swallowing the large numbers of pills".

Jack Summerside from the UK charity Terrence Higgins Trust said: "Fuzeon is an important extra treatment option for people with HIV, particularly for those who have used up other treatments available. "But it is costly and even more difficult to take than existing HIV medications".

WHO expert Don Sutherland said "If you don't give the drugs to HIV/AIDS patient, you have 100 percent failure. What's wrong with saving 50 to 60 percent of those lives?"

This is a human rights issue. In addition, there are only few doctors who treat AIDS patients in many countries. The high risk groups like sex workers, their clients, injecting drug users or migrant workers need to get the drugs first. Even Ex UN Secretary General Kofi Annan encouraged "leaders everywhere to demonstrate that speaking up about AIDS is a point of pride, not a source of shame."

Lack of access to ART is a global health emergency. The New York Times reported -- that there are too many companies making too many generic anti-retroviral drugs to treat HIV. Two types of HIV diagnostic tests are currently in the many countries: enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) tests and rapid tests. ELISA tests are the most widely used HIV diagnostics and are the most accurate. However, ELISA tests are fairly complicated, require laboratory support, and do not provide immediate results. Alternative rapid tests, which provide results in minutes and do not require laboratory support.

Thus drug companies have been accused of putting their own profits. HIV infection rate is up. It's unfortunate that we are unable to provide affordable care.

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Journalist, poet and editor Kamala Sarup specializes in reporting news and writing stories covering journalism, Peace, Public health, Democracy, Women/Children, development, justice and advocacy from her location inside the United States. Human (more...)

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