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Year 2013

Medicine shortage forces HIV patients on reduced dose

Forced by the shortage of medicines, people living with HIV are on reduced dose.

They are dependent on life–saving antiretroviral therapy (ART) but at the ART centre in the Civil Hospital here, the stock will expire in 10 days and there's no way out but desperate measures. The centre accepts patients from Jalandhar, Kapurthala, Nawanshahr and Hoshiarpur districts.

The reason for the short supply of medicines is non–disbursement of money from National AIDS Control Organisation (NACO), country's nodal agency for the prevention and control of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS). ART is a combination of highly advanced drugs to fight the HIV infection and increase the host's life expectancy. If the first line of treatment fails to control the virus load, there's also the second line of drugs. The patients who need second–line ART drugs are being referred to Government Medical College in Amritsar, in the absence of proper treatment at the centre here.

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