97% of all children and adolescents on ARVs transition to Dolutegravir-based regimen
The country has successfully transitioned 97% of all children and adolescents on antiretroviral therapy to a Dolutegravir-based (DTG) regimen, which is more effective at suppressing HIV viral loads than other medicines, an official said Wednesday.
To date, DTG is the best possible HIV medicine which is administered combined with other HIV medicines, said the Deputy Minister of Health and Social Services, Dr. Esther Muinjangue at an event to mark the milestone.
“Not only has the country transitioned the majority of children and adolescents living with HIV in Namibia to DTG-based regimen, but this was also achieved during the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic,” she said in her speech at the event.
Muinjangue said according to the spectrum data, there are over 11,700 children living with HIV in Namibia.
“Many of these children were born with HIV or acquired it during breastfeeding or later on in life through other ways. Whatever the story of these children is, we are proud to announce that majority are all transitioned to DTG based regimen. The quality of life has been improved and eventually, the mortality and morbidity reduced,” she said.
According to Muinjangue, Namibia is now faced with many challenges, not only pandemics, epidemics, and disease outbreaks, but also faced with economic recession which is multi-factorial.
“However, amid all these challenges, the country has managed to achieve this milestone,” she said while commending all partners involved to ensure the realization of the dream.
Muinjangue meanwhile encouraged all children and adolescents living with HIV to adhere to their medication to help prevent the development of HIV resistance to DTG and other medication.
“All communities and development partners should support the ministry in the fight against HIV, COVID-19, and other pandemics to ensure the gains made thus far are not lost and to ensure the HIV response remains on track to realize the total epidemic control by 2030,” she concluded.