Angola plans to reinforce antiretroviral drugs stock

Luanda – The secretary of State for Public Health, Carlos de Sousa, said Saturday in Luanda that Angola may receive new batches of antiretroviral drugs in the coming months, with the aim to strengthen the stock of drugs for the treatment of AIDS.

The Health official, who was coy on the numbers and the exact month for the antiretroviral to be delivered, said the drugs will serve to give national coverage, similarly to the 10 million condoms existing for distribution.

Speaking to the press, on the sidelines of the solidarity march against AIDS, Carlos Costa pointed out the participation of the civil society, testing and treatment, as well as the expansion of the viral load for the early diagnosis and analysis of children as the main strategies to control the disease.

António Coelho, president of the Angolan AIDS Services Network (ANASO), said that every year about 16,000 people die from HIV and of the 350,000 people living with the disease, only 120,000 are on antiretroviral therapy.

Regarding children, the ANASO’s president mentioned that at least 6,000 are in treatment out of the total of 39,000 living with the disease, while some 44,000 young people between 14 and 24 years old are HIV-positive and only 30 percent are currently undergoing treatment.

The AIDS situation in the country, Antonio Coelho said, continues to be worrying and in some cases alarming, as a result of a set of factors that contribute to its increase, such as poverty, additional funds, population mobility, as well as the early sexual activity among young people.

Antonio Coelho pointed out that the insufficiency of inputs such as condoms, information and education material and a concrete statistical database have been factors that increase the number of patients in Angola.

António Coelho also considered the current world context as one of crisis, being characterized with less funds for the fight against epidemics.

Under the slogan “Ending inequalities in the fight against AIDS”, the march of solidarity against this disease is part of the World’s AIDS Day to be marked on December 1.

Source: Angola Press News Agency

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