Dearth of ART Drugs Leaves 13,000 Manipur Residents Living with HIV/AIDS in Precarious Position

ART increases the number of immune cells in the body and decreases the number of virus cells.  (Representative Image: Shutterstock)

ART increases the number of immune cells in the body and decreases the number of virus cells. (Representative Image: Shutterstock)

According to sources, the State AIDS Control Society (SACS) was unable to purchase the critical drug and maintain a buffer stock

Nearly 13,000 people living with HIV/AIDS in the northeastern state of Manipur are in a dangerous situation with life-saving antiretroviral therapy (ART), which has been out of stock since April.

According to sources, the State AIDS Control Society (SACS) was unable to purchase the critical drug and maintain a buffer stock (for six months) under the National AIDS Control Organization (NACO).

ART increases the number of immune cells in the body and decreases the number of virus cells.

The dire situation was first highlighted by representatives of the NGOs Manipur Network for Positive People (MNP+), Social Awareness Service Organization (SASO), CARE Foundation and Kripa Society.

NACO would previously supply the drugs. But Manipur SACS has been given the responsibility from the fiscal year 2022-23.

“This current situation has drastically affected more than 13,000 ART patients in the state and has compromised the adherence aspect of ART consumers,” MNP+ President L Deepak told media.

Hijam Dinesh, president of the Kripa Society, said authorities have neglected the matter despite repeated appeals.

“If the concerned authority does not heed the calls without immediate steps or arrangements, the lives of more than 13,000 people would be at stake,” said Jotin Thangjam, secretary of the Care Foundation.

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