While HIV prevalence has dropped in Nepal—from 0.45 percent in 2005 to less than 0.3 percent today—a poor grasp of antiretroviral (ARV) treatment among policy makers, clinicians and patients could roll back those advances, PlusNews reports. Even though ARVs are distributed at no charge, Nepal reports that 9 percent of people who start taking ARVs are “lost cases” who fail to pick up their medication for three months in a row—usually because poverty and difficult terrain make it hard to get to treatment centers. In addition, people who don’t pick up their drugs sometimes borrow medication from HIV-positive friends. And some clinicians continually rearrange drug regimens to placate patients, which can build drug resistance and interfere with adherence. Advocates worry that policymakers have an inadequate understanding of the educational, financial, nutritional and pharmaceutical needs of people with HIV.
To read the PlusNews article, click here.