COVID-19 affecting people living with HIV

0
667

A survey of people living with HIV has found that the current coronavirus disease outbreak, known as COVID-19, is having a major impact on the lives of people living with HIV in the country.
In the survey, nearly a third (32.6%) of people living with HIV reported that, because of the lockdowns and restrictions on movement in some places in China, they were at risk of running out of their HIV treatment in the coming days-of these, almost half (48.6%) said they didn’t know where to collect their next antiretroviral therapy refill from. However, a close partnership between the government and community partners is determined to ensure that access to life-saving HIV treatment is not interrupted as the country fights to get COVID-19 under control.
The Chinese National Center for AIDS/STD Control and Prevention has directed local authorities to ensure that non-resident people living with HIV can collect their medication wherever they are and has published and disseminated lists of antiretroviral therapy clinics. The UNAIDS China Country Office is working with the BaiHuaLin alliance of people living with HIV and other community partners to urgently reach those people living with HIV who are at risk of running out of their medicines in the next 10–14 days and will offer support as necessary. UNAIDS will also be donating personal protective equipment to civil society organizations serving people living with HIV, hospitals and others to help improve the quality of care for people in health facilities and to prevent coinfection of people living with HIV with COVID-19.
“People living with HIV must continue to get the HIV medicines they need to keep them alive,” said Winnie Byanyima, UNAIDS Executive Director. “I applaud the efforts of the Chinese National Center for AIDS/STD Control and Prevention to support people living with HIV affected by the lockdowns to get their medicines-we must ensure that everyone who needs HIV treatment gets it, no matter where they are.”