ABOUT 180 000 HIV-positive Ugandans will soon start taking fixed-dose combination antiretroviral (ARV) medication.
Quality Chemicals Industries managing director Emmanuel Katongole Speaking at the launch at Serena hotel last week launched Trioday, an Antiretroviral (ARV) drug that will change the lives of HIV-positive people.
“In the past, patients used to take half a bucket of ARVs daily. Then it reduced to three tablets daily but they will now be taking one pill a day, with even more efficacy,” Katongole said.
According to Professor Peter Mugyenyi of Joint Clinical Research Centre (JCRC), Uganda has gone through four phases of ARV treatment for the 40-year-old pandemic. Before 1996, millions of Ugandans died because there was no effective treatment.
Between 1996 and 2004, treatment was available in America and Europe but Uganda had no easy access to it. In the mid 2000s, help started to trickle in with the help of global fund and President’s Emergency Plan For AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) from USA. Treatment was available in most parts of the country.
Mugyenyi says Uganda is currently at the final stage in elimination of HIV. “We are no longer talking about treating the [pandemic] but ending it. We are now treating 70 per cent of diagnosed patients. This is a landmark achievement,” he said.
The drug invented by Dr Yussuf Hamied will be a great relief and for prevention of mother-to-child transmission, paediatric and adult treatment due to changes in the treatment regime for FDC ARVs.