Wed | Sep 20, 2017

No HIV patient on treatment affected by shortage of antiretroviral medication

Published:Wednesday | July 26, 2017 | 7:08 AM

The Ministry of Health would like to advise that no patient on Antiretroviral (ARV) medication, the drug used to treat persons living with HIV, is being affected by the shortage of two types of the drug.

Of the ARVs supplied through the ministry, two items are in short supply - Alluvia for which the substitute Atazanavir/Ritonavir is available and Abacavir for which Abacavir/Lamivudine can be adjusted in terms of dosage as a substitute.

The shortage of Alluvia and Abacavir is due to a delay in deliveries. Both drugs were scheduled to arrive in the island in June. All other ARVs are adequately stocked.

The health ministry is expecting a shipment of Alluvia and Abacavir within the next three to three weeks.

The ministry has procured adequate supplies for the 10,000 patients currently on treatment as well as the projected 2,500 more to start treatment.

On average, 1,200 persons are placed on ARVs each year. With the new 'test n start' initiative, the health ministry has projected to double that number to 2,400 new persons being placed on treatment each year. It is estimated that there are 30,000 people living with HIV in Jamaica.