NEW HIV VARIANT SPOTTED IN NETHERLANDS WORRIES TALC

By Masuzyo Chakwe

THE Treatment Advocacy and Literacy Campaign (TALC) has warned that the new HIV variant in the Netherlands has the potential to spread to other parts of the world and Zambia inclusive.

Programmes manager Clever Chilende said TALC agreed with the Ministry of Health’s observations on the recently reported HIV variant in the Netherlands.

“The VB variant (for Virulent Subtype 😎 has an average viral load ranging between 3.5 – 5.5 times higher than the usual for an HIV infection. Though the variant has been in existence for some time, it is able to destroy the immune cells faster and able to multiply at a faster rate,” he said.

“The VB variant is not only available in the Netherlands but other European countries as well. Therefore, this is the reason why we should be worried in this part of the world as well as this new HIV variant has the potential to spread to other parts of the world and Zambia inclusive.”

Chilende said the emergency of the VB HIV virus variant was a concern to the general public and persons living with HIV.
He said the solution was to remain proactive and be on the lookout for developments surrounding the VB variant.

“Quickly, setup a technical team consisting of technocrats and involve PLHIV as recipients of care affected by the VB HIV variant virus. Intensify on our existing prevention interventions and strategies targeting those that are HIV negative and encouraging those that are positive to immediately get on medication as we are dealing with a virulent variant of HIV virus,” said Chilende.

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