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International News

Nigeria's AIDS Program Said Back on Track

March 16, 2004

Nigeria's Health Ministry announced Friday that its AIDS treatment program, recently beset with drug shortages, has had its drug stocks resupplied and has local production underway. The government placed a 500 million naira (US$3.7 million) emergency antiretroviral drug order for the program, said Ministry spokesperson Ayo Osinlu. "The drugs are here now and the 25 centers are now being resupplied," said Osinlu. An additional $11 million has been allocated in the 2004 budget to buy more drugs, he said.

The program faltered when it ran out of drugs in September. AIDS advocates criticized the government for its handling of the program and said patients at some centers had been given expired drugs.

Launched in 2002, the program intended to treat 10,000 adults and 5,000 children with HIV. In this nation with 5.4 percent of its 126 million people HIV-infected, though, more than 14,000 people signed up to receive treatment, which costs 1,000 naira (US$8.30) a month. At a pharmacy, patients would have to pay 12,000 naira (US$100).

Health Minister Eyitayo Lambo said the program would be expanded to treat more people and commended some Nigerian states that have their own subsidized HIV drug programs.

Back to other news for March 16, 2004

Adapted from:
Associated Press
03.12.04; Dulue Mbachu

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This article was provided by CDC National Prevention Information Network. It is a part of the publication CDC HIV/Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update.
See Also
More on Generic/Discount HIV Drug Access in the Developing World