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HIV Patients Cry Over High Cost Of Lab Test

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Person Living with HIV (PLHIV) has appealed to government to incorporate laboratory Investigation prices for HIV patients into the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS).

This they said will help PLHIV check their baseline before receiving treatment.

HIV Patients are currently unhappy about what they describe as high laboratory charges.

HIV-infected patients receiving care must have a complete medical history, physical examination and laboratory evaluation which would be used to stage HIV disease and to assist in the selection of Antiretroviral Therapy (ART) regimens.

However, a Heart-to-heart Ambassador and Person Living with HIV (PLHIV), Rev John Kwashie Azumah says this has become challenging because of high laboratory charges.

“Some PLHIV cannot pay for lab test because they are very expensive…and doctors will say we cannot give you the drugs when we don’t know your baseline yes, clinically it is wrong when you don’t know the patients baseline. So, people are sent home,” Rev Azumah said.

According to him, there are a lot of people who are qualified for antiretroviral but do not receive treatment because they cannot pay for their lab test in turn, causing a relapse in their conditions.

Rev Azumah made this appeal at the Ghana AIDS Commission’s (GAC) Launch of the 2017 World AIDS Day held in Accra, last Wednesday.

In response to the issues raised, the Programmes Manager of the National AIDS Control Programme (NACP), Dr Ayisi Addo said, directives had been sent from the Ghana Health Service (GHS) stating that no patient should be denied ART if the person cannot afford laboratory cost.

Nonetheless, he called on PLHIV to ensure that they run the lab investigations adding that, ARTs have side effects and will be in the interest of the PLHIV.

He assured PLHIV that NACP together with the GAC and all stakeholders will work together to ensure lab cost are minimised so as to observe standard clinical practices.

World AIDS Day (WAD)

December 1, is a day instituted by the United Nations (UN) to remind the world of the epidemic and to mobilise support towards it management.

Source: Grace Ablewor Sogbey/ ksogbey@gmail.com

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