Stigma Hampers Effort to Get Free AIDS Drugs to Infected in Botswana
June 2, 2003
The stigma of being HIV-positive has severely hampered efforts by the Botswana government to provide AIDS drugs to its people, officials say. According to the recent release of official figures, only about 8,000 people have undergone testing for HIV at targeted health clinics where government officials hope to provide free AIDS drugs to 110,000 people. Botswana is the first African country to commit to a widespread program of providing AIDS treatment medicines through its public health system. About 19 percent of the country's 1.7 million people are infected with HIV. An estimated 38 percent of its adults are infected. The country has set a target of ending new infections by 2016. Ernst Darkoh, a manager of the ambitious program, said people are waiting until they are very ill to get drugs, if they even come forward at all.Adapted from:
06.01.03; Sello Motseta
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.