February 16, 2011
The Associated Press/Washington Post reports on the impact Ukraine's antiretroviral drug shortages are having on patients living with HIV/AIDS. "Only some 20,000 of Ukraine's 93,000 people with AIDS or on the verge of developing it were getting treatment before the supply disruptions that began about two months ago. Now even they are having trouble accessing drugs," according to the news service. While local groups blame government corruption for the shortages, the government has maintained its greatest error was being "late in procuring the drugs" and has "said the supply crisis has actually been a good thing, because delays allowed the government to invite new bidders, lower costs and buy more drugs for more patients this year." International aid agencies -- who supply an estimated 40 percent of the country's AIDS budget -- are "now threaten[ing] to deprive Ukraine, where the government controls AIDS treatment, of crucial AIDS funding until supply chains are restored," according to the news service (Danilova, 2/15).