Mumbai launches Second line HIV drugs for testing
Mumbai based J J hospital has announced to begin the process the second line HIV drugs testing over 5 those persons who have developed the resistance against the first line of drugs. These drugs were given to them from last two years through Antiretroviral Therapy (ART) after identifying as HIV+ patients.
Union health minister on World AIDS Day had announced to begin the testing process of second line drugs soon in the country. J J hospital will the first to begin this process in the country while 10 others hospitals in India including Maulana Azad Medical College (Delhi), PGI (Chandigarh) and ART centres in Kolkata, Manipur and Nagaland have also been recommended to begin this process by April 2008.
“Eighteen patients have been screened and five of them were reviewed by the panel,” said Dr. B B Rewari, National Programme Officer (ART), National AIDS Control Organisation, NACO in Mumbai. “They have been given the seven tablet regime for the second line of drugs,” he added.
Explaining the selecting criteria, Dr. Rewari said that those CD4 count had fell below the baseline after a high or persistently remains less than 100 was eligible, besides those who developed opportunistic infections and whose viral load count was 1,000 copies/ml.
The requirement of introducing this became necessary after observing the NACO reports, which says that despite of very good adherence levels, nearly 3 to 5 percent of patients gain resistance against antiretroviral drugs within nearly three years after beginning the treatment.
As much as 3,000 out of 1.2 lakh marked HIV+ patients are getting treatment through ART and have gained resistance against first line of ART drugs, NACO estimates.
NACO has decided to add 21 first line drug resistant patients every week in Mumbai and Chennai to cover currently 3,000 patients.
“All of them will be put on second-line by December 2008,” said Dr. Rewari.
The price of this second line drug therapy is very expensive against the first line. It is nearly Rs.8,000 per months as against Rs. 8,000 per year of first line therapy. “Bill and Melinda Gates foundation will provide these drugs” informed Rewari.
Software tycoon, Bill Gates and his wife Melinda Gates had organised a co-foundation for providing free drugs to HIV patients in 2000.
“We started work on the rollout more than two years ago with national consultations on the need and feasibility of introducing second-line drugs in view of the very high costs involved and building the capacities of institutions and related laboratories on second-line drugs and tests,” said Dr Rewari.
NACO had began free Antiretroviral Therapy in 2004 from J J hospital and now it has expanded its service to 137 ART centers in the 31 states covering 1.2 lakhs of HIV+ patients in which 20,000 are from Maharashtra.
Read More: NATIONAL AIDS CONTROL ORGANISATION (NACO) | Mumbai | Rewari | Lady Harding Medical College | Model Town Rewari | New Anaz Mandi Rewari | Tehsil Road Rewari | Gokal Bazar Rewari | Medical College | Rewari Khera | I.a.f.line | Rewari Bujurg | Guntur Medical College | Madras Medical College | Kilpauk Medical College | Chennai National Terminal | Thanjavur Medical College So | M.g.m Medical College | Ranchi Medical College | Ranchi Medical College Campus | Orga | Harpur Rewari
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