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Global Fund Announces Price Reduction for Advanced HIV Drug TLD

Context:

The Global Fund has struck a deal with generic drug manufacturers to reduce the cost of the advanced HIV drug Tenofovir disoproxil, Lamivudine, and Dolutegravir (TLD).

Relevance:

GS II: Health

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. What is Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV)?
  2. What are the current treatments for HIV?
  3. Key Highlights of the Global Fund’s Deal
  4. About the Global Fund
  5. Tenofovir disoproxil, Lamivudine, and Dolutegravir (TLD)

What is Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV)?

  • HIV stands for human immunodeficiency virus.
  • It harms your immune system by destroying a type of white blood cell that helps your body fight infection.
  • This puts you at risk for serious infections and certain cancers.
AIDS
  • AIDS stands for acquired immunodeficiency syndrome.
  • It is the final stage of infection with HIV.
  • It happens when the body’s immune system is badly damaged because of the virus. Not everyone with HIV develops AIDS.
HIV can spread in different ways:
  • Through unprotected sex with a person with HIV. This is the most common way that it spreads.
  • By sharing drug needles
  • Through contact with the blood of a person with HIV
  • From mother to baby during pregnancy, childbirth, or breastfeeding
Symptoms of HIV/AIDS
  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Rash
  • Night sweats
  • Muscle aches
  • Sore throat
  • Fatigue
  • Swollen lymph nodes
  • Mouth ulcers

What are the current treatments for HIV?

  • Although there are no cures for the infection at present, the disease can be managed using antiretroviral therapy.
  • These medicines suppress the replication of the virus within the body, allowing the number of CD4 immune cells to bounce back.
  • Although earlier the drugs were given only to those with low CD4 count under the government’s programme, now the programme supports anyone who has been diagnosed with HIV.
  • The drugs have to be taken for life because the virus continues to persist in reservoirs across the body. If the drugs are stopped, the virus can again start replicating and spreading.
  • When the viral levels are low, the likelihood of a person transmitting the infection is also low.
  • If left untreated, the virus destroys a person’s immune system and they are said to be in the Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome stage (AIDS) where they get several opportunistic infections that may result in death.
  • Although there is no vaccine for HIV, there are Pre-exposure prophylaxis (or PrEP) medicines that can be taken by people at high risk of contracting the infection. PrEP reduces the risk of getting HIV from sex by about 99 per cent.

Key Highlights of the Global Fund’s Deal

  • The deal will reduce the cost of the advanced HIV drug Tenofovir disoproxil, Lamivudine and Dolutegravir (TLD) by 25%.
  • This reduction will enable the provision of TLD for less than USD 45 per person per year.
  • The lower pricing of TLD will facilitate the expansion of treatment programs, potentially reaching an additional 19 million people living with HIV in resource-limited areas.

About the Global Fund:

  • The Global Fund is a global initiative established in 2002 to combat HIV, tuberculosis (TB), and malaria and promote a healthier, more equitable future worldwide.
  • It operates on a three-year funding cycle, providing greater predictability in the fight against these diseases.
  • Funding is contributed by governments, the private sector, and non-governmental organizations to support its mission.

Global Fund’s Mission:

  • Raise and invest USD 4 billion annually to combat the deadliest infectious diseases, address the underlying injustices, and strengthen healthcare systems in over 100 countries.

Global Fund Strategy (2023-2028):

  • The primary objective of the strategy is to eliminate AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria, with a specific emphasis on making transformative investments and harnessing innovations to accelerate progress in reducing new infections.

Tenofovir disoproxil, Lamivudine, and Dolutegravir (TLD)

  • A TLD, or Tablet TLD, stands for a fixed-dose combination of three antiretroviral drugs used in the treatment of HIV.
  • These three drugs are Tenofovir, Lamivudine, and Dolutegravir.
  • Tablet TLD is considered the primary treatment for over 85% of HIV cases.
  • It is highly recommended by the World Health Organization as the preferred first-line HIV treatment for both adults and adolescents.
  • This combination of antiretroviral drugs is known for its ability to rapidly suppress the HIV virus, causing fewer side effects and being convenient to administer.

-Source: The Hindu


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