Number of HIV-Positive Africans on AIDS Drugs Doubled in Second Half of 2003, Accelerating Access Initiative Says
March 19, 2004
The number of HIV/AIDS patients in Africa who are receiving antiretroviral drugs provided by companies participating in the Accelerating Access Initiative doubled over the last six months of 2003, according to an AAI release. The initiative, which was established in May 2000 to improve access to HIV/AIDS treatment and care in developing countries, is a partnership of five U.N. organizations -- UNAIDS, World Health Organization, UNICEF, United Nations Population Fund and the World Bank -- and six pharmaceutical companies -- Abbott, Boehringer-Ingelheim, Bristol-Myers Squibb, GlaxoSmithKline, Roche and Merck. According to new data, the number of HIV-positive Africans receiving treatment through AAI increased from approximately 75,000 in June 2003 to more than 150,000 in December 2003. The estimated number of people on treatment is based on actual quarterly drug supply data from the six pharmaceutical companies, which they provided for independent analysis to a third-party company with experience in HIV/AIDS care, according to the release. The data are a conservative estimate of the actual number of people on treatment because they do not take into account several factors, including drug regimen adherence, the number of children on treatment, the use of other medications and drug wastage, according to the release.
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