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26 Jul 2017

Belarus adopts new national HIV treatment protocol

MINSK, 26 July (BelTA) – A new national clinical HIV treatment protocol has been approved in Belarus, Belarus First Deputy Healthcare Minister Dmitry Pinevich told the media, BelTA has learned.

The protocol formalizes the universal access to ARV therapy which means treatment of all people living with HIV, regardless of clinical stage of HIV infection or the CD4 count. The document will come into force on 1 January 2018.

Head of the WHO country office in Belarus Batyr Berdyklychev noted that the adoption of this document was preceded by the great work, both inside the country and outside. The WHO first issued a “treat-all” recommendation in 2015. In 2016 the organization released the consolidated guidelines on the use of antiretroviral drugs for treating and preventing HIV infection, which made the basis of Belarus’ national protocols.

According to WHO, the expanded use of antiretroviral treatment is supported by recent findings from clinical trials confirming that early use of ART keeps people living with HIV alive, healthier and reduces the risk of transmitting the virus to partners.

Practical implementation of these protocols is the next step and is an ambitious task. This will help improve diagnostics and detection, increase access and improve the quality of treatment, and also bring health services close to the people who need them.

Based on the new recommendations, the number of people eligible for antiretroviral treatment increased to 37 million people globally.

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