Academic journal article Bulletin of the World Health Organization

Antiretroviral Misuse in Mumbai, India. (News)

Academic journal article Bulletin of the World Health Organization

Antiretroviral Misuse in Mumbai, India. (News)

Article excerpt

Many patients who have tested HIV-positive in Mumbai are consuming antiretrovirals (ARVs) in fits and starts because of their unstable financial circumstances. The warning comes from the Indian community-based organization Sankalp and the Committed Communities Development Trust. For lack of reliable counselling, patients are unaware that once started, ARV treatment has to be lifelong and without a break.

Patients are also not briefed about the hidden costs of therapy, such as the need for regular, and expensive, laboratory tests, or the possibility of severe side-effects.

AIDS specialist Nagesh Shirgoppikar says there is a strong case for use of ARVs amongst patients whose CD4 cell count, a measure of immune status, falls below 225. Patients with such conditions have experienced a lifesaving reversal of symptoms when properly treated with ARVs, but treatment involves care and knowledge as well as medicines.

This advice is being undermined by the expanding interests of pharmaceutical companies and private doctors in Mumbai. According to a senior doctor, patients are being directly approached by medical representatives of drugs firms and persuaded to start ARV courses. Apart from violating the patients' fight to confidentiality, this often puts them on therapy when they don't need it, and no monitoring is done, he said.

AIDS drugs companies appear to be racing to expand their Indian markets. Given the current haphazard prescribing and consumption practices with AIDS drugs, many doctors--not just quacks--are experimenting with their own dosage and drug combinations. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.