Calls for better management of people living with advanced HIV

Medical experts say severe immune suppression puts patients at risk of contracting opportunistic infections.

Picture: Getty Images.

CAPE TOWN - Humanitarian organisation Medicines Sans Frontières (MSF) has called for better management of people living with advanced HIV.

The 9th International Aids Society Conference in Paris has heard MSF supported hospitals in Sub-Saharan Africa, still encountering volumes of patients with severe immune suppression.

Medical experts say severe immune suppression puts patients at risk of contracting opportunistic infections.

The trend was particularly noted in countries like Malawi, Kenya and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Late diagnosis and the stigma attached to HIV still pose a huge concern.

High drug prices for the treatment of opportunistic infections like tuberculosis, cryptococcal meningitis and pneumonia also cause distress.

In 2016 UNAIDS statistics revealed 36.7 million people are living with the disease globally but only 19.5 million have access to antiretroviral treatment.

(Edited by Zamangwane Shange)