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Infections and deaths down

BARRY ALLEYNE, [email protected]

Infections and deaths down

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A record 1 300 HIV-positive patients are now receiving live-saving therapy as Barbados continues to successfully battle the number of HIV infections through widespread treatment using antiretroviral (ATR) medicine.

That means with more people being treated for the disease, the number of deaths from AIDS and new infections continues to decline in Barbados as part of a special “treat-all” programme initiated by the World Health Organisation (WHO) and implemented here in October last year.

“Nearly 40 years into the epidemic, we have started to see a marginal decline in the number of new cases on an annual basis, and research has suggested that decline was due to the use of the ATR therapy,” senior medical health officer Dr Anton Best told the SUNDAY SUN.

“It is clear the more people we put on therapy, the less infections we are getting. We are glad the drugs that are helping people in terms of their individual health also have a public health benefit in reducing transmission. That is a great sign, and further encourages us to continue expansion of coverage so we can put more people on treatment who need it.” (BA)

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