One key HIV drug unavailable

-Ramsammy says shipment due Thursday

Guyana is currently out of the antiretroviral drug, Efavirenz, which is part of this country’s first-line treatment programme but a shipment is expected by Thursday according to Health Minister, Dr. Leslie Ramsammy.

The Health Ministry made no announcement about the scarcity of the drug, and last night the National AIDS Committee (NAC) issued a press statement saying that it has received complaints from persons living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHAs) over the shortage.

The NAC reported that two drugs were in short supply; Efavirenz and Travada but Ramsammy said it is only one drug which is currently not available.

“Any new patient coming into the programme will not be able to access Efavirenz, but we have tracked the shipment and reports state that it is in Miami and should be here by Thursday morning”, the Minister said last night when contacted. He said an antiretroviral (ARV) shipment of the drug Travada came in two weeks ago.

New patients coming into the National Care and Treatment programme would not be able to access Efavirenz, Ramsammy said, noting that the delay was “beyond our control”.

He said the drug was ordered, but that it will only arrive this week. “It is a slight inconvenience due to this interruption in our supplies”, he added.

Since Efavirenz is part of the combination therapy provided by the national programme, the NAC said it has been advising PLWHAs on ‘first-line’ drugs against using only one of the combination drugs it they cannot access both, noting that if only one drug is used, HIV could become resistant to it. The NAC said it has also been encouraging PLWHAs to continue visiting or phoning in to the clinic for updates as well as seeking assistance from other PLWHA who may have extra drugs to carry them over this period.

The NAC also called on PLWHAs to continue using complementary therapies where possible, “especially in the mind-body category”, which includes relaxation techniques; spirituality and massage, in addition to bio-body practices in building the immune system (balanced diet, vitamins and minerals, herbal, pre-biotics etc).

Further, the committee said that it is seeking to fast-track a meeting with the Programme Manager at the National AIDS Programme Secretariat (NAPS), seeking confirmation of the due-date of expected shipment; feedback on the 2008/2009 annual ARVs supply plan as well as clarification as to both government and partners (international donors) commitment in guaranteeing sustained treatment to approximately 2,800 persons reportedly on ARVs.

More in Archives

Michael DiLollo

CAL doesn’t need bailout yet -Chief Executive

(Trinidad Guardian) CAL doesn’t need a bailout just yet. That’s the declaration of its chief executive, Michael DiLollo. He said the airline had benefitted from extremely patient shareholders for years and believed the airline was strategically positioned to break even in three years.

Anil Nandlall

Nandlall says arrest of ex-guard appears as much ado about nothing

Former Attorney General Anil Nandlall says the arrest of his ex-security guard in the investigation into the murder of Courtney Crum-Ewing appears as much ado about nothing.

President David Granger and Trinidadian Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar (Photo via GINA)

T&T in full support of Guyana over Caracas decree -Persad-Bissessar

Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago, Kamla Persad-Bissessar says her country is in full support of Guyana as it relates to recent decree made by Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro over most of Guyana’s exclusive economic zone, GINA reported this afternoon.

default placeholder

U.N. lifts Syria death toll to “truly shocking” 60,000

AMMAN/GENEVA,  (Reuters) – More than 60,000 people have died in Syria’s uprising and civil war, the United Nations said today, dramatically raising the death toll in a struggle that shows no sign of ending.

default placeholder

Dancehall’s angry nature hurting acceptance, says Beres

(Jamaica Observer) KINGSTON, Jamaica – Beres Hammond has made a career singing ballads like One Step Ahead and Come Back Home, positive songs that have made him one of reggae’s great hit makers.

default placeholder

Property company takes bigger stake in Jamaica Marriott project

(Jamaica Gleaner) Property company Pan-Jamaican Investment Trust has increased its stake in the proposed US$23 million (J$2b) Courtyard by Marriott hotel project from one-quarter to more than one-third in the wake of the exit of an unnamed fourth investor.


About these comments

The comments section is intended to provide a forum for reasoned and reasonable debate on the newspaper's content and is an extension of the newspaper and what it has become well known for over its history: accuracy, balance and fairness. We reserve the right to edit or delete comments which contain attacks on other users, slander, coarse language and profanity, and gratuitous and incendiary references to race and ethnicity.

Stay updated! Follow Stabroek News on Facebook or Twitter.

Get the day's headlines from SN in your inbox every morning: