Health ministry bans use of HIV drug

Dolutegravir, a drug previously feared to cause deformities in unborn children but is now the preferred HIV treatment option. PHOTO | AFP

What you need to know:

  • The drug work by blocking an HIV enzyme to prevent the virus from multiplying, thereby reducing the amount of virus in the body.
  • Neural tube defects are birth defects that can occur early in pregnancy when the spinal cord, brain, and related structures do not form properly.
  • Dolutegravir was authorised in the U.S in 2013 and in the European Union in 2014.

The Health ministry has warned counties to stop prescribing a HIV drug linked to birth defects in HIV-positive women.

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