Tuesday, April 28, 2009

The problems with getting AIDS treatment drugs

African's with AIDS have many problems when trying to get drugs to treat their disease. Many drugs are available only in town, so the travel for the poor may be more than they can afford.

If the drugs are available in their village, there are social stigmas still associated with AIDS. The people with the disease may not want to get the drugs near their neighbors, preferring the secrecy of going elsewhere.

As a part of the newspaper's Katine series of stories, Joseph Malinga of the Guardian profiles one villager who faces these obstacles.

James Akadi knows the dangers associated with failing to follow his treatment schedule. A single day without taking his drugs would make his situation complex and, worse still, could endanger his life.

Akadi, a resident of Abia village, in Ojama parish, Katine, is one of more than 200 people living with HIV/Aids in the sub-county who have openly declared their status, but are struggling to cope with life amid abject poverty.

Lack of food, unsafe drinking water, difficulty in accessing drugs, a lack of income generating activities and the stigma of having the virus are some of the problems Akadi faces as he strives to prolong his life.

But of all these challenges, problems accessing drugs is proving the biggest challenge. Twice a month, Akadi has to travel to Uganda Care, an NGO supporting the HIV/Aids patients, in Soroti town, 28km from Katine, to receive antiretroviral (ARVs) drugs. At times, he lacks transport to travel, meaning he will not be able to get his drugs and adhere to his treatment schedule.

"I'm facing a serious challenge of transport. Every month I travel to Uganda Care offices in Soroti to access drugs but most times I find it hard because I'm a very poor man with a family that I have to take care of. So saving money for travelling twice every month to Soroti town is a challenge," he said.

Although The Aids Support Organisation (TASO) has introduced community drug distribution centres in Katine, the stigma still attached to having the virus means some people still prefer to get their drugs in town.

1 comment:

Spin said...

Exciting Prospects for New Treatment for Aspergillus Fungi

Mildewy walls, moldy breads, grains and other food stuffs are often the result of a type of fungi known as the genus Aspergillus. These results can be unpleasant and wasteful. However they are the lesser concerns related to this fungus. Some of the species can be the cause of serious illnesses in humans. They particularly affect humans whose immune systems have been compromised, for example, by drugs, cancer treatments or other diseases such as HIV. Now, however, there is early evidence of a novel approach to treating this and other fungal infections.

FulviCare Ltd, have announced the results of recent research on a novel treatment for Aspergillus. The research was conducted by Euprotec, a commercial biotech research company, associated with the Manchester University Hospital. The substance they tested was CarboHydrate Derived Fulvic Acid (CHD-FA). A spokesperson for FulviCare said that CHD-FA had shown great effectiveness against Aspergillus species, both in the laboratory and in-vivo. CHD-FA was effective on its own, but was also surprisingly effective in combination with existing treatments such as Amphotericin B. “By using CHD-FA in combination with Amphtericin B we were able to lower the effective dose of Amphotericin B required to treat the disease. This means we can reduce both the cost of Amphotericin B and the toxicity of Amphotericin B. Before the toxicity of Amphotericin B meant that it could only be used in small amounts and only for a few days. The combination is much less toxic and opens the way for more effective treatment of fungal infections in immune compromised patients”.

CHD-FA is becoming widely known for its uses in other areas such as complementary medicinal products such as the daily wellness drink, Secomet V. The spokesperson said that this drink was becoming more popular by the day. We don’t yet know all of its benefits, but we are very happy with the safety of the product and the results we have seen so far.”