Fri. Apr 19th, 2024

Acquired Immune Deficiency syndrome (AIDs) is a spectrum of conditions caused by infection with the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV). People that have acquired AIDs frequently get systematic symptoms like prolonged fevers, sweats, weakness, unintended weight loss, diarrhea among others.

Medical research from doctors shows that the disease up to currently has no cure however, the World Health Organization in a bid to decrease the disease’s negative effects, recommended antiretroviral drugs (ARVs) in people of all ages including pregnant women.

In 2013, a new drug called Dolutegravir was announced in the market, marketed as Tivicay. The drug was tested and approved in the same year (2013), by different organizations around the world and proved it worthy replacing ARVs.

Since its approval, the drug has and is used throughout the European Union.

On Wednesday, Kenya became the first African country to launch the drug (Dolutegravir) for its people living with HIV, replacing ARV drugs that are believed to have plenty of side effects.

Dolutegravir (DTG) is a new drug said to prolong the HIV/AIDS infected people’s lives. The drug is said to have no severe side effects such as diarrhea, hypersensitivity, kidney failure among others, as it is with ARVs.

“We are delighted to partner with Unitaid on this innovative project that will with no doubt improve the lives of people living with HIV in Kenya, build healthcare worker experience and generate the evidence needed to introduce DTG on a larger scale by early 2018,” said Doctor Jackson Kioko, director of Medical Services at Kenya’s Ministry of Health.

On saying this, the new drug was being rolled into the country’s capital, Nairobi, to immediately be supplied to some 27,000 people living with HIV first.

Unitaid is a global health initiative working to end HIV/AIDs across the globe.

According to the Kenyan government’s statistics, the country has more than 1.5 people living with HIV/AIDS, with annual new infections of 78,000.

Lelio Marmora, the executive director of Unitaid was reported saying that most of the 27,000 people that will be put on the drug are unable to handle the side effects of ARVs.

“The drug is cheap, has little or no side effects and will reduce the pill burden on patients,” said Marmora.

“DTG offers great potential for better and less costly HIV treatment. With this catalytic work, we are significantly reducing the time it takes for people infected with HIV in countries like Kenya to access the latest ARVs in the market. These are important developments as we move to HIV treatment for all in need,” he added.

UNITAID said that the drug would later this year, be launched in Uganda and Nigeria.



Reporter: Shamilah Namuddu


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