Treating children infected with HIV usually means getting them to take bad tasting life-saving medicine.
This could soon change after regulators in the US approved anti-retroviral drugs in the form of tiny pellets that can be added to food.
The pellets are not destroyed or chemically altered by heat and have a pleasant taste, which makes them suitable for treating very young children, according to a statement jointly released by Unicef and UNAids.
“Treatment innovations such as this that replace unpleasant and bad tasting medicines are a real breakthrough, accelerating access to treatment for children and keeping our youngest healthy,” said Michel Sidibé, the UNAids executive director.
An Indian generic drug maker manufactures the pellets, which contain the antiretroviral drugs lopinavir and ritonavir and were tentatively approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on May 21, according to the FDA’s website.
Prompt treatment is crucial for the survival of young children infected with HIV.