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Update protocols for the treatment of AIDS and viral hepatitis

Update protocols for the treatment of AIDS and viral hepatitis

In a discussion about health policy aimed at HIV/AIDS and viral hepatitis, participants highlighted that clinical protocols and treatment guidelines are outdated. As explained by the Vice-President of the Brazilian Interdisciplinary Association of AIDS [ABIA], Ferriano Tirto, There have been only two revisions of these documents in ten years, in 2013 and 2017. The legislation in force requires that they be updated every year. The hearing took place in the House Committee on Science, Technology and Innovation.

According to the specialist, the integration of new medicines for free distribution by the unified health system (SUS) is important not only to ensure treatment for people living with HIV, but also as a strategy to prevent the development of resistance to the virus. Replacing medications also reduces the risk of adverse reactions, which increases adherence to treatments, according to Ferriano Tirto.

Protocols under discussion

Ronaldo Halal, advisor for the general coordination of HIV/AIDS and viral hepatitis surveillance at the Ministry of Health, said the new protocols are already under discussion and are due to be published later this year. According to him, coordination is in the process of being restructured, with the re-formation of technical committees and interaction with community organizations, as the decree on these matters was revoked in the previous government.

According to Ronaldo Halal, Brazil is part of the international goal of offering diagnosis and treatment to at least 95% of people living with HIV. However, the state is not keeping its promise, he said, mainly because of social inequality. For this reason, in addition to integrating new technologies and medicines into SUS, he considers it necessary to find ways to expand access to health services by the population in cases of greatest vulnerability.

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“We have inequality, looking on the race/color aspect, we have inequality in terms of access to the health network. And that recurs when we look at education, when we look at cities in the interior versus metropolises,” he said.

Congresswoman Dayana Santos (PCdoB-RS), author of the public hearing request, agrees that there’s really no way to think about public health policies without considering “specific reductions” for gender, race, and where the population is located.

“The social determinants of health must be present in strategic plans for us to address them, always ensuring that women, black men and women, Indigenous people, remote areas, displaced populations, [tenham] Broad and integrated care, as we know it is necessary, ”Diana notes.

Drug patents

Speakers also raised an issue Patents. For Ferriano Tirto, compulsory licensing of certain drugs will be crucial to complying with the legal limitation on universal access for people living with HIV to the latest medicines. In the activist’s opinion, in addition to lowering drug prices, breaking patents will also give Brazil more autonomy in production, which will reduce the risk of shortages.

Ferriano Terto specifically questioned the registration of the drug, called Dolutegravir, which he said was obtained infrequently. The expert defends that the drug is considered “of general interest”, since it is used by more than 460,000 people in the country. (With information from Câmara de Notícias)