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Gov’t To Support Potential HIV Medicine

Government of Ghana will support newly discovered HIV medicine, Deputy chief of Staff, Jonny Osei Kofi has said.

He disclosed this in an interview at a Press conference organized by the Centre of Awareness at the Physicians and Surgeons auditorium in Accra on Wednesday, 5 October 2016.

He added that government will carefully access the efficacy of the drug.

“There are laid down procedures that one goes through when such drugs are discovered. We have requested Dr. Duncan to present all documentation to that effect so that government can assess it thoroughly and then forward it to science research institutes in the country for further research”.

“If these drugs is proven authentic,- that is good news! Government will support it fully to the letter”.

The Centre of Awareness says that it has found a potential cure for HIV/AIDS following ten years of research into plant medicines in Ghana.

According to the founder of the centre, Dr Samuel Ato Duncan, the drug named COA has been scientifically tested and seen to be efficacious and safe for the treatment of HIV/AIDS.

HIV is believed to have originated in west-central Africa during the late 19th or early 20th century. AIDS was first recognised by the United States Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in 1981 and its cause – HIV infection – was identified in the early part of that decade.

Between its discovery and 2014, AIDS has caused an estimated 39 million deaths worldwide.

HIV is spread primarily through unprotected sex (including anal and oral sex), contaminated blood transfusions, hypodermic needles, and from mother to child during pregnancy, delivery, or breastfeeding.

There is no cure or vaccine for the disease, however, anti-retroviral treatment can slow the course of the disease and may lead to a near-normal life expectancy.

The Ato Duncan’s announcement of a potential cure comes two days after The Telegraph reported that a British man could become the first person in the world to be cured of the disease using a new therapy designed by a team of scientists from five UK universities.

The 44-year-old, according to the paper, is one of 50 people currently trialling a treatment which targets the disease even in its dormant state.

The trial is being undertaken by researchers from the universities of Oxford, Cambridge, Imperial College London, University College London and King’s College London.

HIV is so difficult to treat because it targets the immune system, splicing itself into the DNA of T-cells so that they not only ignore the disease, but turn into viral factories which reproduce the virus.

Current treatments, called anti-retroviral therapies (Art), target that process but they cannot spot dormant infected T-cells.

The new therapy works in two stages. Firstly, a vaccine helps the body recognise the HIV-infected cells so it can clear them out. Secondly, a new drug called Vorinostat activates the dormant T-cells so they can be spotted by the immune system.

More than 100,000 people in Britain are living with HIV, around 17 per cent of whom do not know they have the disease, and 37 million are infected worldwide.

Source: Nana Yaa Asante

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