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Indonesia assures supply of drug for HIV/AIDs sufferer after donation cut

English.news.cn   2012-09-25 12:16:01            

JAKARTA, Sept. 25 (Xinhua) -- The Indonesian government has assured the sufficient supply of drug for the sufferer of HIV/AIDs in the country following concern that the donation cuts would decrease drugs import, officials were quoted by media as saying on Tuesday.

The Global Fund, the main financier of programs to fight AIDS around the world, announced in last November that it aims to trim its grant until 2014 because of a funding freeze from donor countries after revelations of fund misuse emerged, the Jakarta globe reported here.

M. Subuh, the Health Ministry's director of infectious diseases, assured that despite the drastic reduction in donor funding for the program, the government could "guarantee 100 percent" supply of antiviral drugs (ARVs).

The Indonesian Network of People Living With HIV (Jothi) said many sufferers are considering dropping their ARV courses entirely, as they are worried that the drugs will no longer be supplied to them for free in the future.

One of the solution proposed by the HIV/AIDs sufferers in the country was the production of the drug domestically.

They had called on the government to produce all ARVs.

"There has to be a policy to have a legal umbrella so that the ARVs can become fully generic and be produced in Indonesia," Aditya Wardhana, a coordinator with the Indonesia AIDS Coalition, said.

Aditya said that if ARVs can be produced locally, Indonesia will no longer need to depend on foreign grants or imported stocks.

Although the state pharmaceutical company Kimia Farma already produces some ARVs, it is still unable to meet domestic demand, forcing Indonesia to import the drugs, mainly from India.

Aditya said that in addition to ARVs, the government should focus more on viral load tests, which measures the amount of HIV in an infected person's blood, and indicates whether ARVs are working.

He said it was unfortunate that the test is only available in five provinces and comes with a restrictive price tag.

Editor: znz
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