Stabroek News
Georgetown, Guyana
7 October 2003

HIV/AIDS records inadequate -health official

Programme Manager of the National AIDS Programme Secretariat (NAPS), Dr Morris Edwards, said yesterday that record-keeping for Georgetown-based treatment of HIV/AIDS persons was not consistent and, as a result, objective data could not be provided.

He spoke during the launch of the Anti-Retro Viral (ARV) Treatment Programme held at the Tower Hotel. As a result of this finding, NAPS is putting in place better record-keeping for the programme set to start in the regions. NAPS is taking the ARV programme to the Suddie Regional Hospital, the West Demerara Regional Hospital, the New Amsterdam Hospital and the Upper Demerara Hospital in Linden.

Concerns have been raised about the measures in place to effectively monitor the success of the programme: whether persons were taking the drugs, whether anyone had ceased treatment and if so, what was being done to bring them back, and how many people had died since the start of the programme. The programme aims to make ARVs available free of cost to persons with HIV/AIDS without their having to travel to the city.

Edwards said that the programme, which commenced in December 2001, has been under review since August and a report should come out in a month's time.