Doctors: Virus fighting back

National, Normal

The National, Monday June 24th, 2013

 THE provincial health authority and the Western Highlands Provincial AIDS Council have expressed concern at the HIV/AIDS virus showing resistance in first line patients who are on antiretroviral (ART) drugs.

They were concerned that if the virus was spread to other people, it would be disastrous.

Dr Petronia Kaima, the Highlands regional co-ordinator for HIV/STI, and Dr Binga Kepas, the physician of HIV and TB ward at the Mt Hagen General Hospital, expressed this concern at an HIV/AIDS and election awareness event last week in Mt Hagen.

Kaima said according to a preliminary report released by Institute of Medical Research recently based on 50 HIV/AIDS patients from Western Highlands studied last year, the virus showed resistance to 1% of first line patients on ART drugs.

She said this was bad because once the virus resisted the ART drug, it would be difficult to contain.

She urged people on first and second line treatment on ART drugs not to deliberately spread the virus.

Kepas said it was a big concern when virus showed resistance to ART drugs.

PAC technical officer Apollos Yimbak urged people not to engage in unsafe sex during the election period when there would be many night activities.

“We know that virus has already shown resistance to the ART drugs and there is no way where we can find other drugs,” he said.