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Finally, The “Generic of Latest Drug” For The Treatment Of AIDS Arrives In Kenya

Couple of months ago, the news about Unitaid rolling out generic of latest AIDS drug in Africa went viral most especially across the United States and African continent. The wait for that might be over as Kenya is set to be the first beneficiary African country of the most anticipated antiretroviral drug.
Unitaid, a global health initiative said back in June this year that a generic of Dolutegravir (DTG), first approved in the U.S. in 2013, will be given to 20,000 patients in Kenya before being rolled out in Nigeria and Uganda later in the same year.

The good news now is that for majority of HIV carriers in Kenya, they will henceforth be able to access the medicines at a particularly low cost, which is a significant breakthrough in the Nairobi healthcare community.  

20,000 Kenyan patients will benefit from the credits thanks to the UNITAID association  .

The drug should improve and prolong the lives of patients who suffer side effects from other treatments.  The drug will also fights against possible resistance.

DTG is the drug of choice for people with HIV in high-income countries who have never taken antiretroviral therapy before and for those who have developed resistance to other treatment.

Unitaid, Kenya is the first African country to start using the DTG.

“I had constant nightmares and no appetite,” said Nairobi resident Doughtiest Ogutu, who started taking the drug this year because of her resistance to other treatments.

“My appetite has come back… My body is working well with it.”

Ogutu, who has been living with HIV for 15 years, said her viral load, the amount of HIV in her blood, has fallen tenfold from 450,000 to 40,000 since she started on DTG.

Sub-Saharan Africa has been at the epicenter of the HIV epidemic for decades and home to nearly three quarters of all people with HIV and AIDS.

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UNAIDS aims for 90 per cent of people diagnosed with HIV to receive antiretroviral treatment by 2020.

The brand name version of DTG is Tivicay, produced by ViiV Healthcare, which is majority-owned by GlaxoSmithKline

 

The  dolutegravir  DTG )  is indeed prescribed  in developed countries for patients  with HIV  who have never been on antiretrovirals.  As well as those experiencing strong resistance to other treatments.

Nearly  15%  of patients present resistance to treatments currently available on the Kenyan market   according to Sylvia  Ojoo .  The latter, director of the Maryland Medical University for Kenya, is in charge of the introduction of  DTG  in the country.

The UNITAID association intends to introduce the generic on the market, reduce production costs in order to allow companies to obtain the necessary cheaper patents and thus produce them at lower cost for developing countries.

After Kenya, Nigeria  and Uganda are expected to receive the famous drug later this year.

As a reminder, About 37 million people live with AIDS worldwide, including 25 million in Africa, according to figures published by the World Health Organization in 2015.

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Written by How Africa

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