News HIV guidelines launched

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HIV aids
HIV aids

Zambia has launched the new consolidated guidelines for treatment and prevention of HIV infection.

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The guidelines will see the enhanced use of Antiretroviral drugs to treat and prevent HIV infection and an increase in the number of people eligible for HIV treatment.

Health Deputy Minister Chitalu Chilufya says the preferred treatment regime has been simplified to a single fixed – dose combination pill.

Dr Chilufya says the pill which will be taken once per day and is much safer.

He has noted that evidence shows dual advantage of keeping people healthier and a dramatic reduction in risk of transmitting the HIV to others.

Dr. Chilufya said this in Lusaka on Wednesday when he opened the national pediatric and adolescent antiretroviral therapy conference and launch of the new consolidated guidelines for treatment and prevention of HIV infection.

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The guidelines also recommend that all expectant mothers and children under the age of fifteen years start treatment immediately after diagnosis.

Previously, Zambia had separate guidelines on using ART among adults and adolescents but these have now been combined with those for the prevention of mother to child transmission.

Zambia is the first country in the sub – saharan region to take the decision of having universal access to ART for children of 15 years and below as part of the national A.R.T policy.

Currently, Zambia has 548 thousand people taking HIV drugs.

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