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Belgium to reimburse antiretroviral drugs for all HIV patients
From 2017, HIV patients in Belgium will have access to the medicines needed to start antiretroviral therapy immediately after diagnosis, decided federal public health minister Maggie De Block. The current system limits the repayment of the drugs to patients whose immune systems have already deteriorated due to the syndrome, writes De Standaard.
Minister De Block based her decision on the advice of expertise centre Sensoa and HIV experts, who point out that rapid treatment with antiretroviral drugs not only saves patients from unnecessary suffering, but also ensures that they are contagious for a shorter period of time. The policy change should therefore lead to fewer new infections.
More than 1,000 people are infected with HIV in Belgium every year, according to the latest figures.