Barbados New Plan To Treat HIV/AIDS Patients

HIV/AIDS patients in Barbados will soon have greater access to health care.

Not only will they be able to receive treatment at the island’s polyclinics, but also greater access to anti-retrovirals.

Minister of Health John Boyce made the announcements during debate on the 2016/2017 Estimates of Revenue and Expenditure.

While touting the island’s elimination of mother-to-child transmission, Boyce said Barbados had now reached the stage at which HIV care would be more accessible in the public health care system.

“This is an important step in the country and this is an area where special funding has been put in place to the tune of $600,000.

“We are encouraging our team of professionals to so approach this transition not to the extent that urgent and essential cases are not dealt with but that once that treatment is begun and our patient is under control they become part of the general health care management of the country.”

Additionally, the Minister of Health said clinics would now offer the Test and Treat programme, which would make it easier for patients to get life-saving medicines.

“Earlier you had to have a certain viral count to be put on the list of patients who would get anti-retroviral treatment,” Boyce said. However, with the changes, he said, “once you are tested and you need treatment, you will be immediately put on the list to take advantage of the treatment that will see that disease controlled.” (Caribbean News Service)

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