NGOs claim there is a public health crisis

Updated 06:31 PM

New treatment to be distributed in coming days

BBC

Tista' taqra bil- Malti.

Several NGOs claimed in a statement that as HIV medication is out stock there is a health crisis for persons needing such medication.

They explained that:

“Not taking medication regularly allows the HIV virus inside a person’s body to gain resistance, making entire ranges of antiretrovirals ineffective against it. It also allows HIV to start attacking a person’s immune system, increasing their susceptibility to various other illnesses including COVID-19, and making the virus transmittable.

The statement was signed by HIV Malta. Checkpoint Malta, Aditus foundation, Allied Rainbow Communities, Drachma and LGBTI+ Gozo.

The NGOs said that they “are appalled that the situation has been allowed to spin out of control notwithstanding regular appeals by activists.” They added that on World AIDS Day, barely a week ago, they forewarned that Malta was quickly losing control of the situation on HIV.

World AIDS day 690,000 lives lost during 2019
World Aids Day: 690,000 lives lost during 2019

The organisations said that the situation has been developing throughout this week.

The NGOs said that although they may understand that a new drug is being introduced and it may be a period of transition, however, nothing justifies the longwinded bureaucratic processes take their time to be completed.

“A well-planned transition should have included a phasing-out plan that guaranteed that nobody was left without their lifesaving medication at any one point”, the statement concluded.

“Shortage can lead to serious complications” – PN

In a statement by the Nationalist Party, signed by Stephen Spiteri, Claudette Buttigieg, and Jamie Vella, the party said that for people with HIV, the use of these medicines on a daily basis is crucial, so much so that if they are not taken at the same time every day, it can lead to serious complications.

The Opposition has called for this problem to be resolved as soon as possible, for the best interests of these people.

New treatment to be distributed in coming days

In a reaction the Ministry of Health said that the lack of medication is due to the transition to the new medication and lack of the old medication on the European market.

The Ministry said that the new treatment will start being distributed from this week and will reach patients in the coming days.

Until all patients are transitioned to the new treatment, the Ministry said that they will make sure that all that can be done to provide the necessary care to patients lacking treatment will be done.