Record number of Africans get Aids drugs

2012-07-06 14:37

Paris - A record number of Africans now have access to drugs to control the HIV virus, but the continent must work harder to strengthen the lifeline, the head of UNAids says.

At the end of last year, 6.2 million people in sub-Saharan Africa were taking antiretroviral treatment, an increase of 1.1 million over 2010, UNAids Executive Director Michel Sidibe said in an interview on Thursday.

It means that 56% of Africans in need of the drugs now have access to them, he said.

"Ten years ago, nobody would have imagined that such a result would be possible," he said.

The cost of the drugs has plummeted from about $15 000 per head a dozen years ago to some $80 today, and many treatments are far simpler for patients than in the past.

Sidibe - visiting Paris ahead of the 22-27 July International Aids Conference in Washington - said he was worried that African countries remained so dependent on foreign help.

"With the exception of South Africa, 80% of Africans with HIV have access to drugs via funding from outside Africa. This is not sustainable. It's even dangerous," he said.

Budget constraints in donor countries since the 2008 financial crisis have caused funding to stagnate, falling by 13% between 2009 and 2010 alone.

China now totally funds its domestic Aids programme and the figure for fellow emerging giant India is 95 percent, but in Africa some countries are 100% dependent on foreign help, Sidibe sdaid.

Another problem is that Africa is 80% dependent on India for its drugs, Sidibe said.

He added he would call for an African Medicines Regulatory Agency at an Africa Union summit, taking place in Addis Ababa from 13-15 July.

The proposed agency would vet drugs, given the widening problem of fake or below-quality medications that are being sold in Africa, and encourage local production of Aids pills.

  • ivan.schoultz - 2012-07-06 15:44

    HIV was man-made, read this: and it's all about generating money for a few, watch this:

      UncleShep - 2012-07-06 16:10

      This is one sick planet am leaving!

      AnthonyfromAfrica - 2012-07-06 17:21

      It is not really an issue where aids comes from, but what is important, that aids sufferers get the right medicine, so they can continue to live a full life. And some making money..........., sure, there are also some who make their millions with cough mixtures. But more important, are we not blessed that the USA and Europe , each year send hundreds of millions of dollars and euros, to fight this dreadful decease!!!!

      ivan.schoultz - 2012-07-06 17:48

      @Anthony, it most certainly IS an issue where HIV comes from, because it amounts to an act of war against humanity. They declared 5 BILLION of us to be "useless eaters" and they want us DEAD, and just one of their strategies in achieving that goal is biological warfare. (H1N1 flu virus is another of their genetically modified weapons against humanity.) And if you read the Cooper page, you will have seen that they already have a cure and a prevention, both of which they developed before releasing the virus into the world. This solution is being withheld from us because they want to bleed us financially dry from fake ineffective "treatments" that do the real killing. The virus does not kill, the treatment does, and that is painfully illustrated in the video. If you watch the documentary, you will see just how much money is at stake, and it's all a lie, a deception, and a grand extortion.

  • AnthonyfromAfrica - 2012-07-06 18:53

    Ivan, For research, the origion of aids is important, but I meant, aids suffferers are not interested, they want medicine !! For the rest of your comment; sorry, I am not into conspiracies !!!!

  • lourens.rossouw.3 - 2012-07-12 13:35

    Does medicine help, get the culture right.

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