Vietnam Makes Low-Cost AIDS Drug Available to Sufferers
February 20, 2003
In a bid to reduce mortality rates from AIDS, Vietnam has made a low-cost AIDS drug available to local health centers across the country. The Ministry of Health on Monday gave clinics the green light to dispense Lamzidivir, a combination of antiretroviral drugs Lamivudine and Zidovudine. Pregnant women and health workers infected with HIV will receive the treatment free of charge, while others will have to spend about $900 per year for the medication, the Lao Dong newspaper said. Lamzidivir is manufactured by MST Trading Pharmaceuticals, a private Vietnamese manufacturer that was awarded the government contract in December. Vietnam had 59,200 HIV patients at the end of 2002, of whom 8,793 had developed AIDS, according to figures released by the health ministry on Tuesday. However, experts believe that the official figures may be grossly understated and estimate that as many as 300,000 Vietnamese could be HIV-positive.Adapted from:
Agence France Presse
This article was provided by CDC National Prevention Information Network. It is a part of the publication CDC HIV/Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update.