HIV Carriers In Trouble In Borno
There is no anti-retroviral drug in Bauchi.
The Borno Agency for the Control of HIV/AIDS (BOSACA) revealed this on Thursday, and said that the state Specialist Hospital has run out of Anti-retroviral Drugs at its main centre.
Barkindo Saidu, the Executive Secretary of the agency, disclosed this in an interview in Maiduguri.
"As at yesterday (Wednesday), the Borno specialist hospital went out of drugs; the agency has to borrow drugs from the Umaru Shehu Memorial Hospital to meet up the demand of the patients,” he said.
Saidu said that Opportunist Infections (OI) drug is a lifeline for HIV-positive patients since if they did not take it regularly they could even die of secondary infections or diseases.
He explained that in the early stage, a person living with HIV could contact tuberculosis, malaria, bacterial pneumonia, fever, skin diseases and ulcers, among others, and such medicines were necessary to keep these diseases at bay.
“Septrin tablet, an antibiotic drug, is provided free of cost to persons living with HIV and it helps to ward off bacteria diseases.
“The tablets are being given to people living with AIDS when their CD4 count (number of cells in a cubic millimetre of blood) reaches around 250.
“Tablets help patients fight the infections as they are more vulnerable to infections.
“These are called opportunistic infections (OI) as they easily target the patients due to the weakening of their immune system.
“Several bacterial diseases, such as tuberculosis, pneumonia, septicaemia candidiasis, fever, cytomegalovirus and allergy are commonly found in HIV patients.
“Presently, out of more than 9,000 of our clients, only 15 of them are on second line treatment, the rest are all on first line drugs.
“And the unfortunate side of it is the out of stock we experienced yesterday as non-intake of their drugs even for a day will make the virus mutate and develop resistance.
“We therefore called on the United Nation (UN) to support persons living with HIV/AIDs in Borno state,” he said.
The official HIV prevalence by UNAIDS in Nigeria is 3.2 per cent among the adult population, giving a total estimate of 3.4 million Nigerians living with HIV as at 2014.