Co-trimoxazole preventive therapy is a feasible intervention for people living with HIV. It works to reduce HIV-related morbidity and mortality through an off-patent drug, which is widely available in resource-limited settings. The World Health Organization (WHO) conditionally recommends the use of co-trimoxazole as treatment for opportunistic infections in people living with HIV/AIDS.

In Uganda, previous reports by the State Minister for Health stated that there was a funding shortage for the drug. The Global Fund, with headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland has since stepped in to provide all funds for the drugs available from July 2018 onwards.

This is good news, as daily intake of co-trimoxazole relieves symptoms and prolongs life for people living with HIV/AIDS. However, a human rights organization and two people living with HIV have sued the Ugandan Government and the National Medical Stores (NMS) for alleged failure to supply public health centers with septrin as one of the essential drugs for treatment of AIDS for the months of March 2018 – August 2018. The two people claim they have suffered psychological torture due to fear of imminent death and resistance to opportunistic infections as a result of their HIV/AIDS status, in the event they cannot afford to purchase septrin from private health facilities. They want the court to order government and National Medical Stores to supply septrin to all public health facilities with immediate effect and pay them general damages for violating their right to health care.

Source: The Daily Monitor, November 28 2018

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