ARV rationing shocks patients

Thousands of people on antiretroviral therapy (ART) have expressed concern over the continued shortage of the life saving drug, Nevarapine in public health institutions in Lusaka.

And several patients interviewed but who asked not to be identified however said the recent decision to remove maize and fuel subsidies was a cause of concern to them because they feared that government maybe also be planning to decide against free HIV drugs.

They indicated that such a move would prove to be double tragedy for them, as they were already struggling to meet the required levels of nutrition that must accompany drug intake as food in general had become more expensive.

The reduction in their levels of nutrition was a direct result of the removal of the subsidy on maize and fuel, which had pushed the prices of basic foods upwards, they said. They argued that taking ARV’s on reduced nutrition was deleterious to their health.