TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - According to Rumah Cemara - support-group for drug users and people with HIV/AIDS (ODHA) - there remains 518,516 ODHA people in Indonesia that have yet received antiretroviral (ARV) medication due to its tall-selling price and its availability for children.
The Indonesian Health Ministry in 2016 predicted that there are 640,443 people in Indonesia living with the disease. Meanwhile, only 19 percent (121,927) with HIV/AIDS who received a specific type of medication.
This is an alarming reality,” said Rumah Cemara Director, Aditia Taslim in the midst of celebrating the AIDS day on December 1.
ARV is critical for a person who has contracted the disease as it helps control and slow-down the effects of the deadly virus within the body. Rumah Cemara also pressed the government to drop the selling price of ARV as it is 2.5 times costlier than what is sold in the market.
“The reduced prices of medications can help HIV/AIDS sufferers obtain ARV without having to add cost burdens that the government spends on,” said Aditia Taslim.
He also said Rumah Cemara has pushed for the government to immediately register the latest ARV medication that aligns with the WHO’s recommendations. He mentioned one of the medications which are Dolutegravir (DTG) which is cheaper and high potency in suppressing the spread of the HIV/AIDS virus.
ANWAR SISWADI (CONTRIBUTOR)