Hundreds of thousands of people are at risk because they are unknowingly drinking water contaminated with antiretroviral drugs (ARVs), a study carried out by international scientists has revealed.
The study jointly conducted by African and European scientists found that water intended for drinking was contaminated with ARVs which are drugs meant to enhance the immune system of people diagnosed with HIV.
While the reports citing the findings do not mention how the drugs found the way into reservoirs of drinking water that residents of Nairobi and Kisumu in Kenya use, the concentration of ARVs were found to be far below the levels of a medical dose.
However, one of the scientists told the press that drinking such contaminated water “still exposed Kenyans to greater risks of developing resistance to certain drugs”.
Scientists from Kenya’s University of Eldoret and Ghent University in Belgium carried out the research.
Their findings follow previous claims that farmers in different countries across the region also use ARVs to fatten chickens. The Ministry of Health in Malawi had said it would issue an investigation to establish if such practices were also happening in the country.