Government has clarified on the new combined HIV/AIDS drugs that have been introduced by the Ministry of Health in the Public health Institutions.
Ministry of Health Permanent Secretary for Technical services Kennedy Malama said the ministry does not intend to transition everyone who is on anti-retro viral drugs to the new DTG drugs because it will be done in a phased up manner.
He said the Ministry will embark on intensified counseling because there is a criteria on which newly diagnosed patients are put on drugs and the Ministry is focusing on newly diagnosed HIV patients to be put on (DTG)
“We are still rolling out the new one and we are calling it combination of Dolutegravir (DTG) lamivudine with tenofovir, the old drug includes three (ARV) so we have introduced the ‘D’ Dolutegravir and people have accepted the drug and are happy according to the information we are receiving”
Dr Malama told ZANIS in an interview in Lusaka yesterday, that the Ministry of health is not moved by emotions or preferences which are not backed by evidence and if there is need to change drugs there has to be a number of reviews on the patients
He has since appealed to patients who are adherence to the old drugs not to rush and switch to the new drugs especially when they are able to reach viral load suppression.
The Ps added that the Ministry of Health is still investigating and comparing the two drugs.