A dearth of ideal medication with appropriate paediatric formulations has been a longstanding obstacle in improving health of children living with HIV. In 2019, an estimated 95,000 HIV-related deaths and 150,000 new infections among children were reported, only about 53% of children in need of antiretroviral therapy were stated to have access to it.
At the upcoming International AIDS Society (AIS) conference, the World Health Organisation pledged to highlight how global process in decreasing HIV-related deaths can be hastened by stepping up support and services for populations excessively impacted by the epidemic, including young children.
The decision by United States Food and Drug Administration to approve a new 5mg formulation of Dolutegravir (DTG) for infants and children older than 4 weeks and weighing more than 3 kg was applauded by the WHO last month. This decision will guarantee children’s prompt access to optimal medications that, to date has only been available to adults, adolescents and older children.
Dr. Meg Doherty, Director of the Department of Global HIV, Hepatitis and STI programmes at WHO explained “Through a collaboration of multiple partners, we are likely to see generic versions of Dolutegravir for children by early 2021, allowing for a rapid reduction in the cost of this medicine”.
She further added “This will give us another new tool to reach children living with HIV and keep them alive and healthy”.