Not all HIV patients stick to treatment

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Alvine Kapitako

Windhoek

Better ways of ensuring that patients with HIV do not default on their anti-retroviral medicine can be developed with comprehensive information on why some infected people default, the ambassador of the United States to Namibia, Thomas Daughton, has said.

Speaking at the launch of the Namibia Population-based HIV Impact Assessment (NAMPHIA) survey yesterday, Daughton said the health system currently does not retain 100 percent of HIV positive patients, who are on treatment.

“Interventions have already been put in place to improve patient retention, but we can do more,” he said. The country has never had representative data about HIV infections among babies and young children, Daughton further noted.
Current data on HIV positive children who are on treatment is based on estimates, he added.

“NAMPHIA will help us to confirm if the estimate is accurate. If we have comprehensive local data about how infants and children are entering the HIV cycle then we can do more to save their lives,” Daughton said, further stressing that NAMPHIA is not a government-only initiative.

“The survey will collect information about how many people are currently infected with HIV, how many people have new infections and how many people with HIV are on effective treatment,” Daughton concluded.

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