Supply will become normal in a few days, says KSAPS

An acute shortage of a vital HIV drug, Efavirenz 600 mg, has hit patients in the last two months across the State, even as the Government on Tuesday announced the formation of a legislators’ forum to provide political thrust for the control of HIV/AIDS.

Efavirenz 600 mg went out of stock in some of Bangalore’s anti-retroviral therapy (ART) centres on Tuesday. This drug, alongside other medications, is used to treat HIV positive people who are also infected with tuberculosis (TB). Nearly 40 per cent of the over 16,000 new HIV cases detected in the State this year are reported to have TB as a co-infection.

As many as 639 HIV positive women are availing themselves of ante-natal care at the 1,570 Integrated Counselling and Testing Centres (ICTCs) in the State.

Several patients told The Hindu that said they were forced to return without the medicine or with just a few tablets from the ART centres here because of the shortage. “I was lucky to get the tablets for a week at Victoria Hospital’s ART centre. A friend of mine taking treatment at KC General Hospital’s ART centre was sent back without medicine,” said a patient.

Sources in the ICTCs said that as there was a limited stock of this drug, they were forced to ration the supply to patients.

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