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Shortage of anti-HIV drugs

  • Published
    21st Sep, 2022
Context

The Supreme Court has sought response from the Centre and others on a plea alleging shortage of anti-retroviral drugs for treating HIV patients in the country.

About
  • A plea was filed by NGO Indian Network for People living with HIV/AIDS alleging shortage of antiretroviral drugs in the country.
  • The plea contended that non-availability of drugs at the Anti-Retro Viral Therapy Centres of the National AIDS Control Organisation results in hampering ARV treatment of the people living with HIV/AIDS.

About HIV/AIDS:

  • HIV (human immunodeficiency virus) is a virus that attacks cells that help the body fight infection, making a person more vulnerable to other infections and diseases.
  • It is spread by contact with certain bodily fluids of a person with HIV, most commonly during unprotected sex (sex without a condom or HIV medicine to prevent or treat HIV), or through sharing injection drug equipment.
  • If left untreated, HIV can lead to the disease AIDS (acquired immunodeficiency syndrome).
  • The human body can’t get rid of HIV and no effective HIV cure exists.
  • AIDS is the late stage of HIV infectionthat occurs when the body’s immune system is badly damaged because of the virus.

Antiretroviral Therapy

  • With neither a vaccine nor a cure in sight, Antiretroviral Therapy (ART) is the only option available for people living with HIV-AIDS.
  • HIV is a type of virus called a retrovirus, and the combination of drugs used to treat it is called Antiretroviral Therapy (ART).
  • According to the World Health Organization, standard ART consists of a combination of at least three antiretroviral drugs to suppress the HIV virus and stop the progression of the disease.
  • Significant reductions have been seen in rates of death and suffering by the use of potent ART regimen, particularly in the early stages of the disease.

National AIDS Control Organization

  • The National AIDS Control Programme (NACP), launched in 1992, is being implemented as a comprehensive programme for prevention and control of HIV/AIDS in India.
  • Over time, the focus has shifted from raising awareness to behaviour change, from a national response to a more decentralized response and to increasing involvement of NGOs.

UNAIDS

  • UNAIDS is working towards stopping new HIV infections, ensuring that everyone living with HIV has access to HIV treatment, protecting and promoting human rights and producing data for decision-making.
  • UNAIDS is working towards ensuring that, by 2020, 30 million people have access to treatment through meeting the 90–90–90 targets, whereby 90% of people living with HIV know their HIV status, 90% of people who know their HIV-positive status are accessing treatment and 90% of people on treatment have suppressed viral loads.
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