Monday, 17 June, 2024
HomeNews ReleaseNew hope for HIV+ children thanks to delicious new ARVs

New hope for HIV+ children thanks to delicious new ARVs

New strawberry flavoured paediatric antiretrovirals (ARVs), due to arrive in South Africa shortly, will address a key barrier in the successful treatment of HIV positive children. The ARVs currently being used for young children have a very unpleasant taste, so much so that some children either spit out or vomit up the medicine. This makes it difficult for them to take their life-saving medicine.

By making it easier to take their treatment, the new medicines, which were recently registered by the South Africa Health Products Regulatory Authority (SAHPRA), will drastically improve the health outcomes of children living with HIV.

Dr Leon Levin, senior paediatric adviser at health NGO Right to Care, who has been treating children with HIV for more than 25 years, said: “Children respond very well to antiretroviral therapy (ART), but we need them to take it. These improved paediatric formulations are going to make a major difference. They are very effective and taste great. We will be able to better control HIV in children and enable them to live normal, long, healthy lives. This is very good news for all HIV-positive children.”

One of the new ARVs for children is a Dolutegravir dispersible tablet, the same medicine HIV positive adults have used in South Africa since 2019, but in a special dispersible formulation for kiddies. The other, known as the “four-in-one”, contains four ARVs that have been used in children for some time, only with a far better taste. Both treatments are effective, safe and well tolerated.

According to Dr Julia Turner, senior technical adviser at Right to Care, “No child should die or become sick from HIV ever again. Children on ARVs can look forward to living as long and healthily as those who don’t have HIV. Another benefit is that by taking their medication and controlling the disease, they will not pass on the disease to their partners and children when they grow up. HIV is now a very easily managed disease.”

Issued by Right to Care





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