UN special envoy promises affordable HIV/AIDS drugs
Thursday 1 April 2004
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RWANDA: UN special envoy promises affordable HIV/AIDS drugs

KIGALI , 23 July (PLUSNEWS) - UN special envoy for HIV/AIDS in Africa, Stephen Lewis, said on Wednesday that Rwandans living with HIV/AIDS would "in the near" future have access to more affordable antiretroviral drugs.

"There's very intense discussion in Rwanda on having antiretroviral drugs available for treatment and the UN family is ready to help," Lewis said after meeting Rwandan President Paul Kagame in the capital, Kigali.

He said that Rwanda would soon be receiving money from the World Bank, the global HIV/AIDS fund, and the Clinton Foundation, which he hoped would make antiretroviral drugs affordable in the coming years.

"Drugs should be availed at a cheap cost, meaning that they have to subsidised for the public," Lewis said. "I am quite certain that this will succeed if the Clinton money comes and the global funds are made available."

In Rwanda, an estimated 500,000 people are infected with HIV/AIDS, with an estimated annual rate of infection of 5 percent to 10 percent. The Rwandan government has managed to slash prices for antiretroviral drugs from US $300 per month in 2000 to $100 per month at present.

Lewis said the Rwandan government had managed to create public awareness about the HIV/AIDS pandemic and cut down the rate of infection in the country.

"There's progress on the decision to roll out voluntary testing and counselling, progress on use of drugs to prevent transmission from mother to child and treating mothers who are infected," he said.

"I go away with a great deal of hope because this is a country that has been through so much and is making a recovery in the most difficult circumstances," Lewis added.


Recent RWANDA Reports

45 to take part in HIV/AIDS vaccine trials, 10/Mar/04
US official pledges to mobilise resources in fight against HIV/AIDS, 3/Dec/03
Focus on genocide widows dying of HIV/AIDS, 8/Oct/03
World Bank gives US $30 million for HIV/AIDS programme, 24/Sep/03
Case for early HIV/AIDS intervention in refugee camps, 24/Jul/03


The Global Fund to fight AIDS, Tuberculosis & Malaria
International Community of Women Living with HIV/AIDS
The Global Fund to fight AIDS, Tuberculosis & Malaria
International HIV/AIDS Alliance

PlusNews does not take responsibility for info in links supplied.


PlusNews is produced under the banner of RHAIN, the Southern African Regional HIV/AIDS Information Network. RHAIN's members currently include:


  • IRIN

  • Inter Press Service (IPS)



  • Health Systems Trust

  • Health & Development

  • GTZ/Afronets

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