ART crucial in Covid-19 pandemic 

Source: ART crucial in Covid-19 pandemic | The Herald

ART crucial in Covid-19 pandemic
Mr Amon Mpofu

Herald Reporter

People living with HIV must take their drugs consistently during the Covid-19 pandemic and ensure they follow preventive measures to minimise exposure to the virus.

The National Aids Council of Zimbabwe’s monitoring and evaluation director Mr Amon Mpofu said people living with HIV should continue taking anti-retroviral drugs and strictly adhere to Covid-19 regulations to avoid other secondary infections such as Covid-19. 

“Stay at home until we get the vaccine, if you suspect that you are infected seek treatment early,’’ he said.

Mr Mpofu said that although there is currently no clear evidence that people living with HIV are at an increased risk of acquiring Covid-19 some people are ageing or have other health conditions, including heart disease or lung disease, that are known to make people susceptible to more severe Covid-19 symptoms.

“At the present time, the evidence on the impact of Covid-19 among people living with HIV is still scarce,” he said. 

“The Centre for Disease Control continues to monitor the science and will communicate important advances.”

People living with HIV have continued to receive support especially to help contain the spread of Covid-19.

Last year the United States, through the US President’s Emergency Plan for Aids Relief, received at least US$150 000 to help fight Covid-19 in Zimbabwe, specifically targeting people living with HIV and Aids. 

The funds were in addition to the United States Agency for International Development’s $470 000 contribution to the World Health Organisation to support Zimbabwe’s fight against Covid-19.

The money was used to buy soap, buckets, handwashing stations and hand sanitisers for supported facilities and the reproduction of Covid-19 communication materials to be shared at supported facilities and through faith and community networks around Zimbabwe.