Russia’s Health Ministry recommended it as a possible treatment for Covid-19 after China reported it as beneficial. PHOTO: FILE/AFP

MOSCOW-(MaraviPost)-Russian black markets have started selling Kaletra, an antiviral HIV drug to be used as a possible treatment for coronavirus following recommendation by Russian Health Ministry.

According to sellers, HIV activists and the head of the drug’s main Russian producer, the drugs has been selling in bulk since China announced that Kaletra was beneficial against the illness caused by the coronavirus.

Reports have revealed that more than 20 trials around the world are testing Kaletra as a COVID-19 treatment or post-exposure prophylaxis.

In an interview with Reuters, one of the online trader of HIV drugs revealed that recently people have been buying the drug with much enthusiasm with the aim of reselling it at a higher price and this has posed a threat to HIV-positive people as the drug might go into extinction soon.

He was quoted saying: “Three months ago, people were buying Kaletra from us without much enthusiasm for 900 roubles ($12) a box.

“Now, anticipating (supply) interruptions, people are buying between 100 and 700 boxes from us, at 3,800 roubles a box. Mainly, people are buying (Kaletra) with the aim of reselling it for a very high price”.

Kaletra was initially purchased in bulk by the government and distributed to registered HIV patients for free but now people can get it at 7,000-8,000 roubles per box.

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