Close to 9,000 persons living with HIV virally suppressed

-decrease in TB cases, better treatment procured for Hep C

Close to 9,000 persons living in Guyana with the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) are virally suppressed because of the aggressive medications and interventions taken by that the Ministry of Health.

On Friday, Minister of Health, Dr Frank Anthony asserted that indeed the ministry has come a far way and is doing better in treating HIV patients.

Minister of Health, Dr Frank Anthony speaking on HIV, TB, and Hep C at the launching on Friday

“Once we continue to treat people it means that they will be living even longer. So, you would see that we have around 9,000 people living with HIV but what is remarkable is that most of those people are virally suppressed. And we are able to measure that by doing viral loads to each one of our patients,” the minister stated.

Virally suppressed means the inability to transfer the virus to another person while the viral load is the measure of a number of viral particles present in HIV in an individual’s bloodstream

With this number of persons being virally suppressed, it indicates that the health ministry is effective in managing the patients.

As a result, the minister encouraged persons to continue to visit their nearest health facilities to undergo their tests and receive their treatment.

He was at the time speaking at the national launch of the Filaria Campaign for Regions Three and Four at the Carmel Secondary School in Charlestown, Georgetown.

Additionally, another disease that Minister Anthony is confident will be reduced drastically is Hepatitis C.

About a year ago persons infected with Hepatitis C were unable to receive treatment since it was too costly to be procured by the government.

According to the minister, initially the treatment cost about US $80,000 which was then broken down to about US $20,000. Currently, he noted that it’s approximately US $2,000 if it is to be bought from the manufacturer.

“However, through a partnership that we have with the Pan American Health Organisation (PAHO), they have been able to buy these medicines in bulk and we have been able to access these medicines from them. We are getting them at less than US $120 for a patient…So, what we now have is about 42 persons who have been cured of Hepatitis C,” Minister Anthony explained.

Meanwhile, turning his attention to Tuberculosis, the minister revealed that the health ministry has moved from recording 500 cases per year to 300 cases as of last year.

The health minister asserted that the interventions that have since been made will continue to be used to ensure the downward trend.

“So, over the last couple of years we have seen a clear distinction with how we are managing persons with different types of infections and that is very important because we want to reduce this burden of infectious diseases in our country,” the health minister stressed.

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