Thursday, September 07, 2006

Non adherence to ARV's a huge problem in Botswana

This editorial from The Voice in Botswana caught my eye. It points to a very worrying trend facing those living with HIV in sub-saharan Africa. As I've alluded to in previous posts non-adherence to treatment is a big issue in Bots!

'There were two related reports that emerged at the recently ended 16th International AIDS conference in Toronto that caught our attention and hopefully the attention of every responsible citizen who don't want to see this country's human resources decimated by HIV /AIDS.

These are the reports that TB strains resistant to first and second line drugs have been found among HIV-Positive people in our neighbour, South Africa and another one which states that first line drugs are no longer working for a growing number of people living with HIV who are now in need of far more expensive drugs that are out of reach for the general majority of Africans.

In light of the above discoveries we sought a comment from a local HIV/AIDS expert who to our horror confirmed our suspicions that we are in the same boat with South Africa concerning the above worrying developments in the fight against AIDS.

In brief the expert explained that apart from the natural progression of people living with HIV towards resistance to ARVs ,the process is often speeded up by certain factors such as non- adherence and reckless living, which in many cases results in re-infection.

"We already have a growing number of people who are now on the much more expensive third line drugs mainly because of non-adherence. Many have also turned up with signs of new infections. If these drugs become resistant too all we can do is help such people manage the disease, avoid catching opportunistic diseases and hope for the best," he said

Suddenly it dawned on us that our modest achievement of having reduced Botswana HIV/AIDS infection rate to 17% fade into oblivion when placed next to the mountain we face ahead of us.

We applaud the government efforts to keep the sick alive by spending huge sums of money on providing individuals with ARVS.

We condemn those whose attitudes(and they seem to be many) have been undermining the government efforts by mistaking ARVs for a cure for AIDS.

We hope that the reports from the AIDS conference will be an eye opener and a strong urgent warning to many people, especially the 35% of our population which is already living with HIV some of who have clearly been lulled into a false sense of security by the abundance of ARVs dished out by government for free to wake up and take control of their lives before its too late.


bathmate said...

nice posting...

bathmate said...

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it is really helpful to all.
such a nice topics.