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Poor lack access to HIV drugs

23rd April 2007

Less than a third of the world's poorest people living with HIV are able to receive the crucial antiretroviral drugs they need, a new report has shown.

hiv

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), UNAids and Unicef, many obstacles remain to meeting United Nations targets of universal access to HIV/AIDS programmes by 2010.

WHO general director Margaret Chan called for ambitious national programmes, greater mobilisation and increased accountability, as the study found just 28% of poor people with HIV around the world have access to treatment.

The report also found that the number of people in poorer countries able to access antiretroviral therapies had risen by 54% in one year to just over two million at the end of 2006.

But it estimated a further 7.1 million people in those countries who needed the drugs were still without them.

In sub-Saharan Africa, 28% of HIV patients were receiving antiretrovirals at the end of 2006, compared with just 2% at the end of 2003.

Only 11% of pregnant women, however, are getting the drugs they need to stop them passing the HIV virus onto their babies, while the lowest rate of access to HIV treatment was found in North Africa and the Middle East - where the study found a rate of just 6%.

 

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