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Strawberry-flavored HIV medicine-Quadrimune is easy to take, preserve and affordable.

As per UNICEF reports for South Africa, “1.1 Million babies born in every year. And 300,000 are born to HIV positive mothers. About 93,000 of these babies will be infected by HIV; with 72,000 being HIV positive at birth and 21,000 becoming HIV positive through breastfeeding from the infected mother.  Some 50% of these two groups of babies will die before their second birthday if mother to child transmission of HIV is not prevented.”

Demonstration of how to administer Quadrimune, a “4-in-1” treatment for young children with HIV

There are roughly 80,000 babies and toddlers who die of AIDS every year, and that’s partly due to the difficulty of administering the medicine. It can be extremely difficult for a toddler to swallow a pill or a foul-tasting syrup with alcohol. Cipla may have a much better solution. It’s introducing a new anti-HIV drug, Quadrimune, whose strawberry-flavored granules are much easier to swallow. While it comes in capsules, parents can make it more palatable by sprinkling the contents on soft food or in drinks.

The medicine includes four recommended antiretroviral drugs and doesn’t require refrigeration — important in Africa, where warm temperatures and inconsistent electricity are frequently issues.

Crucially, it’s relatively inexpensive. Quadrimune will cost less than $1 per day for a child between 20 to 30 pounds, and 50 cents per day for younger children. While that would still be a stiff price for many families affected by HIV (it might even exceed their yearly income), that combined with the easy-to-swallow design could put the medicine within reach of many more people and save thousands of lives.

The FDA is reviewing Quadrimune and could tentatively approve it in 2020. It’s not as necessary in the US when children are less likely to contract HIV from their mothers, but that approval could be a key step to wider distribution. It’s safe to say that it’ll be eagerly anticipated. Unless there’s a cure for HIV, medication like this could be vital to halting the viruses’ spread.

Updated on 1:30 pm PKT | Mallahpost

Via, Source and image courtesy: Engadget, UNICEF, DNDI

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