China HIV patients risk running out of AIDS drugs in days – UNAIDS

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01/20/2020

HIV patients in China risk running out of life-saving AIDS drugs because quarantines and lockdowns aimed at containing the coronavirus disease outbreak mean they cannot replenish vital medicine stocks, United Nations AIDS agency said on Wednesday. UNAIDS said it had surveyed more than 1,000 people with HIV in China and found that the outbreak of the coronavirus, now known as COVID-19, is having a “major impact” on their lives. The outbreak so far infected more than 74,000 in China, and killed 2,004 of them. Outside China, five deaths and 827 cases have been reported so far. Nearly a third of the HIV positive people surveyed by UNAIDS said lockdowns and restrictions on movement in China meant they were at risk of running out of their HIV treatment in the coming days. Of these, almost half – or 48.6% – said they did not know where to collect their next antiretroviral therapy refill from. “People living with HIV must continue to get the HIV medicines they need to keep them alive,” UNAIDS Executive Director Winnie Byanyima said in a statement. “We must ensure that everyone who needs HIV treatment gets it, no matter where they are.”

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