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Manipur facing shortage of life-saving drugs affects nearly 14,000 people living with HIV/AIDS

Manipur facing shortage of life-saving drugs affects nearly 14,000 people living with HIV/AIDS

The Manipur Network for Positive People (MNP+) has claimed that the acute shortage of antiretroviral drugs recommended to control HIV/AIDS infections from progressing has put the lives of people living with the virus at risk.

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Manipur shortage of life-saving drugs affects nearly 14,000 people living with HIV/AIDS Manipur shortage of life-saving drugs affects nearly 14,000 people living with HIV/AIDS

The Manipur Network for Positive People (MNP+) has claimed that the acute shortage of antiretroviral drugs recommended to control HIV/AIDS infections from progressing has put the lives of people living with the virus at risk.

Speaking to media persons at Yaiskul Hiruhunba Leikai, Imphal west, Manipur,  MNP+ Imphal East secretary K Anandi said that the relevant department in Manipur has not been implementing the "ART Free Roll Out" programme since its inception on the occasion of World AIDS Day, 2004 properly.

Anandi further revealed that there were many instances of shortages of medicines at different ART centres in the past too, and the shortage of life-saving medicines has greatly distressed the people living with HIV/AIDS. Anandi further stated that the authorities concerned have been administering the medicine ART first-line regimen to those who need the second line for the past few months due to the shortage of medicine.

Anandi urged the State Government to look into the matter so that ART centres could maintain the stock of life-saving drugs which are required to treat people living with HIV/AIDS appropriately, Anandi further stated that the State Government hasn't given any response to the request to provide an adequate stock of life-saving drugs so far. Continuing that about 14,000 people take antiretroviral drugs under the ART Free Roll Out programme in Manipur, Anandi expressed disappointment with the State Government for not taking the lives of thousands of people living with HIV or AIDS seriously.

Meanwhile, official sources have refuted the charges of a shortage of antiretroviral drugs (ARV) and claimed that there is adequate stock nationally for around 95 per cent of "People Living with HIV' (PLHIV) who are on first and second-line ARV regimens in the country. " Individual antiretroviral therapy (ART) centres may have this issue at times, but the medicines are immediately relocated from nearby centres," said a Health Ministry source.

The sources added that there is adequate stock nationally for around 95% of PLHIV in the country who are on 1st and 2nd line ARV regimens like Tablet TLD (Tenofovir+ Lamivudine+ Dolutegravir) and other ARV regimens.

There is no reported out of stock of any ARV drugs at the State level and the fresh supply orders for procurement of the next lot of several drugs are already placed",  the source added.