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HIV Anti-Retroviral Therapy (ART) to be included in the Ministry of Health’s Subsidised Drug List

HIV Anti-Retroviral Therapy (ART) to be included in the Ministry of Health’s Subsidised Drug List

MEDIA RELEASE
For immediate use

1 September 2020

— HIV Anti-Retroviral Therapy (ART) to be included in the Ministry of Health’s Subsidised Drug List —

Earlier today, the Ministry of Health took a much-awaited step forward to include life-saving Anti-Retroviral Therapy (ART) drugs in the national schedule of subsidised drugs and treatments. Details can be found at https://www.moh.gov.sg/cost-financing/healthcare-schemes-subsidies/drug-subsidies-schemes

Action for AIDS is particularly heartened by this move as we have long championed the need for ARTs to be subsidised and made affordable for all Persons Living with HIV (PLHIV). International and local experience have shown that ARTs are the most important clinical intervention for improving longevity and preventing opportunistic infections, which in turn leads to PLHIVs leading full and productive lives. PLHIVs on ARTs and with regular medical follow-up can reach undetectable levels of viral load which in turn negates the possibility of transmitting the virus to their partners. (Ref: https://www.unaids.org/en/resources/presscentre/featurestories/2018/july/undetectable-untransmittable).

Mr Avin Tan, Advocacy and Partnerships Manager with Action for AIDS and a PLHIV said, ‘As a person living with HIV, I am pleased to note that this move by the Ministry of Health is a major step forward to ending HIV transmission and arresting late stage diagnosis in Singapore, two key aims of our Community Blueprint to end HIV in Singapore by 2030. Being able to access effective HIV medication has truly transformed the quality of the lives of PLHIVs. This announcement ensures that everyone who need ARTs can afford it, reducing their overall medical costs and providing sustainable and reliable long-term treatment.’

Welcoming this move, Professor Roy Chan, President of Action for AIDS, Singapore said, ‘Anti-Retroviral Treatment (ART) restores health and prolongs lives of persons with HIV infection (PLHIV). ART also renders PLHIV non-infectious to their sexual partners, thereby stopping the spread of HIV. Ensuring that ART is affordable and accessible will improve the prognosis of PLHIV, and it will also lead to better HIV prevention and control in the country.’

‘When we launched our Community Blueprint in November 2019, I said that we needed collective and coordinated actions to make a significant and lasting impact on the HIV epidemic in Singapore. This decision by Ministry of Health will boost our efforts to stop the spread of HIV infection and will reduce stigma and discrimination faced by PLHIVs. This will take us closer to realising a future without HIV possible in our lifetime.’

Notes to editor:

The Community Blueprint to end HIV-transmission and AIDS in Singapore by 2030
Full blueprint document – www.afa.org.sg/endingHIV
Infographic summary – www.afa.org.sg/endingHIV

This release is issued on behalf of Action for AIDS, Singapore.

Please contact the undersigned should you require further information or if you would like to speak to our representatives.

Benedict Thambiah   
Communications Sub Committee
Action for AIDS, Singapore
Mobile: 9003 7566
benedictthambiah@yahoo.com

Community Blueprint

Our Commitment to ending HIV & AIDS in Singapore by 2030

MOH Press Statement