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Lifesaver for more patients

AMANDA LYNCH-FOSTER, [email protected]

Lifesaver for more patients

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One year after the Ministry of Health launched its Treat All campaign for HIV/AIDS patients, more patients are receiving lifesaving antiretroviral therapy than ever before.

In an interview with the Saturday Sun ahead of World AIDS Day which was observed yesterday, Dr Anton Best, the senior medical officer responsible for the HIV/STI programme, said they had moved from 62 per cent of patients covered to approximately 75 per cent. There are just over 1 700 active HIV patients registered with the Ministry’s Ladymeade Reference Unit (LRU) and more than 1 300 are now on therapy.

In 2016 the Ministry of Health launched the Treat All campaign, an initiative of the World Health Organisation. Under the policy, all persons with HIV are eligible for therapy irrespective of the stage of their HIV disease.

Best acknowledged that the effort has cost more but this had been anticipated. He explained that the Ministry had conducted a modelling exercise with assistance from the Centres for Disease Control’s (CDC) economics branch which showed that spending an additional $1.2 million more in therapy per year could help avert an additional 22 new HIV infections annually. (ALF)

Please read the full story in today’s Saturday Sun, or in the eNATION edition.