People living with HIV have been protesting outside offices of the National AIDS Control Organisation (NACO), demanding that they receive medicines in a timely manner following shortages for nearly five months.
- The main shortage is of dolutegravir, used as part of the first-, second-, and third-line ART combinations.
- There is also a shortage of nevirapine syrup that is given to infants with HIV.
Why is the shortage a concern?
- While there is no cure for HIV infection, ART aims to reduce the replication of HIV and bring the viral load to undetectable levels.
- There has been a decline in mortality and illness resulting from HIV infection due to better availability of affordable and effective ART.