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Health Ministry Launches HIV Drug Surveillance Survey

The Ministry of Health through the Guyana National Care and Treatment HIV/AIDS Programme has launched a HIV Drug Surveillance Survey. This initiative is being supported by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO).

The survey will be done over a one year period with follow up sessions and a final report should be ready within two years’ time. HIV Patients who are 16 years old and over with no previous use of the antiretroviral therapy will be used for the survey targeting a sample size of 130 persons.

PAHO Representative, Dr. Beverly Barnett said the consequences of drug resistance that includes treatment failure could see an increase in health care expenditure.

She pointed out that this is a result of the second and third line treatments being costly and her organization will continue to support Countries like Guyana to fight against the virus.

Health Minister Dr. Leslie Ramsammy said early treatment for HIV continues to be a major challenge for the health system. Ramsammy noted that persons living with HIV would have to ensure that the antiretroviral therapy is done at an early stage.

Guyana is said to be the first country in Latin America and the Caribbean Region to launch such a survey. During the launch the need for global partnership was also stressed as international donors have begun to cut funds due to the global recession.

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