Global HIV advocate calls for differentiated HIV treatment options as well as addressing side effects


HARARE – Global HIV advocate Paul Mavesere Ndlovu who is also a Knowledge Evidence & Innovation Associate at Zvandiri has emphasized the need for researchers and scientists to prioritize differentiated treatments and widen options for HIV treatment. 

Paul Mavesere Ndlovu Global HIV advocate and Zvandiri org
Paul Mavesere Ndlovu 

Speaking at the sidelines of the Ready Summit on Sunday, Ndlovu highlighted that while the effectiveness of antiretroviral drugs is crucial, the side effects associated with these medications are often overlooked and can have disastrous consequences. 

“Silence of donors regarding the side effects of antiretroviral drugs raises concerns. It is crucial for funding organizations and researchers to address these concerns and prioritize research into minimizing side effects while maintaining treatment effectiveness,” he said. 

Ndlovu also stressed the importance of researchers and scientists working closely with people living with HIV to gain real-life experiences and insights. 

“By incorporating the perspectives of those directly affected by the virus, better outcomes can be achieved in terms of treatment and diagnostics.”

Ndlovu also raised concerns about the lack of youth-friendly diagnostics, emphasizing the need for age-appropriate and accessible testing methods. 

According to Ndlovu, it is crucial to differentiate service delivery and move away from a one-size-fits-all approach to HIV treatment. 

“Each individual may respond differently to certain medications, and what works for one person may not be suitable for another. Health care providers need to consider that people react differently, especially in light of certain medications regarded the best on the market,” he added. 

Ndlovu emphasized the importance of considering individual needs and preferences when designing treatment plans.

The advocate highlighted the need to address and monitor the side effects of HIV medications. Ndlovu expressed concerns about the lack of attention given to side effects such as kidney failure, weight gain, and high blood pressure. 

Regular monitoring and kidney tests were emphasized as essential components of HIV treatment, but the affordability of these tests in public hospitals remains a challenge.

A current study compared three antiretroviral drug regimens and found that regimens containing dolutegravir (DTG) were more effective in suppressing HIV than a commonly used regimen containing efavirenz (EFV). But the side effects are kidney failure and fatigue, among others.

Post a Comment