Treatment of Persons with HIV will be started immediately upon having made a Diagnosis
Mr. Aurelijus Veryga, the Minister of Health, signed the order, according to which it will be possible to start treatment of persons who have obligatory health insurance (OHI) and diagnosed with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) without waiting for its progress. Their treatment would be paid from the obligatory health insurance fund (OHIF). It would reduce possibility to infect other people with HIV and to spread the virus in the society.
"All the HIV-positive persons will receive timely treatment from now. The new treatment scheme was approved in order to ensure the immediate treatment of HIV-positive persons. In such a way the probability of qualitative and full-fledged life will be increased and the spreading of disease will be reduced. For example, if antiretroviral medicine is applied for the pregnant women on time and if other preventive measures are undertaken, the probability to transfer the virus to the newborn is reduced significantly," – says Minister Mr. A. Veryga.
The European AIDS Clinical Society also recommends to start the treatment immediately upon having diagnosed the virus. Therefore treatment of HIV-positive persons in Lithuania will comply with international standards.
Last year 43 new cases of HIV infection were diagnosed for women and 220 for men. According to the data of the Centre of Communicable Diseases and AIDS (CCDA), every second person (51,7 percent) got infected with HIV through injected drugs. In total 3012 HIV cases were diagnosed in Lithuania, where 7 cases were children. The majority of HIV-positive persons belong to the group of persons of 25-44 years old. The majority (59 percent) of all the persons registered as having HIV were infected through usage of injected drugs. Every fifth HIV-positive person reached the last stage of HIV – AIDS and every seventh person diagnosed with HIV died because of various causes, including AIDS.
The following target was set in the United Nations AIDS strategy – to end the AIDS epidemic until 2030. It is planned to achieve before 2020 that 90 percent of people living with HIV would know their status, 90 percent of people living with HIV who know their status would be receiving treatment and 90 percent of people on treatment would have suppressed viral loads. It is expected that the new HIV treatment order in Lithuania will help to achieve the common target.