Estrela+ brings back 31 HIV dropout patients for the treatment

Estrela+ brings back 31 HIV dropout patients for the treatment

The Executive Director of the local NGO Estrela+, Inês Lopes (Photo/S

DILI, 5 january 2023 (TATOLI)- Asociation nongovernmental organization (NGO), Enstrela+ returned 31 drooped out (DO) patients infected with Human immunodeficiency syndrome virus (HIV/AIDS) for treatment in a national hospital in Dili in 2022, after refusing to continue treatment in the last preview years.

The Executive Director of Estrela+, Ines Lopes said these patients were returning for treatment, with the help of Estrela’s advocacy and counseling program.

“We are providing advocacy to bring back 31 patients who are suffering from HIV. We advise and facilitate the patients to have more regular medical treatment,’’ The Executive Director of Estrela+, Ines Lopes told TATOLI at her office, Farol this thursday.

She added that Estrela+ is cooperating with the Minister of Health to work closely with Health facilities and Health Centers at the municipality level to carry out the screening and diagnosis process: “We are prioritizing socialization to spreading accurate information on HIV prevention, to help patients going back to have medical treatment,” she said.

“However, we also avoid the stigma and discrimination against infected people. We are working to avoid discrimination which is against human rights. We understand the patient’s situation, thus we are working on an effort to advise patients to continue the treatment,”

According to Lopes, during the implementation of this program, they often encountered challenges: “we run out of stock of medicine; sometimes lack health professionals,” she said.

Lopes said, Estrela+ also observed that in last 2017 it was over 700 infected patients in municipalities, thus it increased significantly to over 1.700 patients in 2022. Therefore Lopes called all parents and the community to help the patients to access medical treatment in Heath Centers.

The program implemented by Estrela+ cover, 13 municipalities including Atauru and Oe-cusse Ambeno.

So far, Lopes said, the HIV prevention program was funded by Global Fund and UNFPA over 200.000 USD. The government of Timor-Leste through SASCA also provided over 15.000 USD for the implementation of these programs.



Journalist: José Belarmino De Sá

Editor: Nelia B.


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