Growing resistance to HIV drugs will be a serious issue in the future, said state health minister Suresh Shetty on Thursday. He was speaking at a function organised by the Maharashtra State Aids Control Society (MSACS) on the occasion of World Aids Day.
“We have succeeded to quite an extent in controlling the HIV-Aids menace. But we need to do a lot more,” said Shetty, at the function held at the Government Dental College at CST.
Referring to the growing problem of resistance to the first line of Anti-retroviral therapy (ART), Shetty said, “We are seeing many cases of drug resistance for the first line of treatment in the state. We need to figure out how to continue the treatment for these patients. The patients need counselling on how to cope with the disease.”
JJ Hospital is currently the only hospital in the city to provide free second line ART treatment for patients across the state.
Shetty said that there is a need to focus on woman-to-child transmission and cases of HIV-positive children. “There are 14,000 children living with HIV. Some have a single parent. Some have no parents at all. We are finalising a programme for the best medical care for them and providing them nutritious food,” he said.