In this era of coronavirus, people suffering from TB, HIV or any viral infections are concerned that the coronavirus cab affects them more badly than the healthy people. However, this is not true. Many experts and health institutions have advised precautions patients should ensure while they are suffering from HIV, TB and other viral diseases.
It is vital for patients with HIV and on Antiretroviral Therapy (ART) to adhere to all the medications and therapy on a regular basis. Because patients with HIV who are not taking antiretroviral therapy, have low immunity which makes them vulnerable to COVID-19. If such a patient gets COVID-19, they can suffer from severe illness as compared to those who are on antiretroviral therapy and have coronavirus. Precautions patients should ensure with HIV that have other comorbid non-communicable diseases such as diabetes, hypertension, cancers, and renal disease are that they have to take their medicines for diabetes, hypertension, cancer and kidney disease, along with ART and exercise.
Persons with tuberculosis and who do not take their TB medicines have major chances to develop severe respiratory diseases if they are COVID-19 infected. Be sure you take your tuberculosis medications regularly so that even if you get an infection it won’t cause serious illness.
As for other viral diseases such as Hepatitis B or Hepatitis c, it is important for people to take extra care and follow all the precautions such as quarantine, hand washing, social distancing, and sneezing or coughing in the elbow. If someone has not vaccinated for chronic illness, it is time they should do so.
In India, even before COVID-19 India had stockouts of drugs required for TB. And during this crisis, it is important to maintain the regular supply of these drugs for the patients. If this issue is not resolved, it will have a knock-on-effect that presents TB as an even bigger issue further down the road. Claims that the State will ensure medication access are still under scrutiny for those afflicted by TB and medication-resistant strains.