One of the centrally-located government hospitals in Delhi – Lok Nayak – ran out of medicines for third-line treatment for HIV this week. It will take at least three to four days for the supply to be normalised, according to senior officials in Delhi’s health department.“The drugs are centrally procured for the entire country by the National AIDS Control Organisation (NACO). However, there were problems in finalising the tender and hence there is a shortage across Delhi,” according to the official, who did not want to be named.For the time being, the supply was restored by bringing in drugs from the centre at All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS). To conserve the available stock, the patients were being given medicines for only a week to 15 days. “Usually these medicines are given for a month to minimise travel for the patients, but to conserve the stock till normal supply is established shorter courses were being given,” the official said.The Delhi Network of Positive People has written to NACO about the shortage of supply, saying “ensure no patient is sent back empty-handed from the ART centres.”The Delhi State AIDS Control Society, the state-level authority of NACO, has already released Rs 45 lakh for locally purchasing these medicines for Delhi centres.“The state is not usually authorised to make these purchases and there are very few manufacturers who do supply (these medicines). We have used the Rs 10 lakh exigency funds and diverted some others to ensure that the medicine stocks are restored in Delhi by the end of the week,” the official said. Delhi needs 10,000 doses of the third line combination drug Raltegravir+Darunavir+Ritonavir every month, according to the official. The NACO tender has now been finalised and the states are now waiting for the supply.