COVID-19 impacted supply of life-saving HIV drug in 73 countries: WHO

73 countries have warned that they are at risk of running out of HIV medicines as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, said World Health Orgnisation (WHO).

24 countries reported having either a critically low stock of antiretroviral (ARV) medicines or disruptions in the supply of the life-saving drugs. 

Photo courtesy: WHO
Photo courtesy: WHO

In a press statement, WHO said that an estimated 8.3 million people in 2018 were benefiting from ARVs in the 24 countries now experiencing supply shortages. This represents about one third (33 per cent) of all people taking HIV treatment globally. 

"While there is no cure for HIV, ARVs can control the virus and prevent onward sexual transmission to other people," WHO said.

Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General, added, We cannot let the COVID-19 pandemic undo the hard-won gains in the global response to this disease."