Libya’s HIV patients bear the brunt of drug shortages despite WHO support

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The conflict in Libya has created a rippling effect on medical services causing general drug shortage including anti-retroviral (ARV) drugs for HIV patients.

Libya has 6,330 registered HIV patients as at 2016 and they depend on the country’s health system for their supplies of ARV.

The severe shortage of ARV has caused some deaths and subsequent protests heaping a lot of pressure on the government which called on the World Health Organisation (WHO) for help.

The WHO announced on Monday that it has shipped ARV drugs to the Benghazi Center for Infectious Disease and Immunity in December which can take care of 450 patients for only 3 months.

The health body said it has launched an appeal for US$ 1.2 million to ensure a regular supply of ARV drugs for a year.

The rate of HIV cases are reported to have increased in Libya since the start of the conflict in 2011.