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.
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.