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International News

Botswana Antiretroviral Drug Distribution Program Will Reach 50,000 People by 2005, Health Minister Says

July 15, 2004

Botswana Health Minister Lesego Motsumi on Tuesday at the XV International AIDS Conference in Bangkok, Thailand, said that the country will meet by next year its target of distributing antiretroviral drugs at no cost to about 50% of those who need them -- about 50,000 HIV-positive people, Reuters reports. Currently, 17,400 people are receiving antiretroviral therapy through the country's public health service; an additional 6,700 receive the medications from the private sector, Reuters reports (Reuters, 7/13). Dr. Patson Mazonde, deputy permanent health secretary, said that the program had enrolled 28,000 people in 17 locations and expansion is planned to 15 more sites this year (SAPA, 7/13). Botswana's program is "a case study for Africa" that represents "what it will take to successfully introduce ARV therapy on a mass scale," the Ministry of Health said in a statement (South African Press Association, 7/12). However, a "crucial problem" has been that few people are undergoing HIV testing, according to Earnest Darkoh, head of operations for Botswana's national antiretroviral treatment program, Reuters reports. Botswana introduced voluntary routine HIV testing in January, and HIV-positive diagnoses have increased, according to Reuters (Reuters, 7/13).

Online London's Guardian on Thursday profiled Botswana's drug program (Carroll, Guardian, 7/15). The full article is available online.

Back to other news for July 15, 2004


Reprinted with permission from kaisernetwork.org. You can view the entire Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, search the archives, or sign up for email delivery at www.kaisernetwork.org/dailyreports/hiv. The Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report is published for kaisernetwork.org, a free service of the Kaiser Family Foundation, by The Advisory Board Company. © 2004 by The Advisory Board Company and Kaiser Family Foundation. All rights reserved.



  
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This article was provided by Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. It is a part of the publication Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report. Visit the Kaiser Family Foundation's website to find out more about their activities, publications and services.
 
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