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IRIN PlusNews HIV/AIDS News and information service | West Africa | GUINEA: First donation of ARVs will help slash costs | | News Items
Tuesday 27 December 2005
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GUINEA: First donation of ARVs will help slash costs

[This report does not necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations]


CONAKRY, 17 December (PLUSNEWS) - Guinea received a donation of antiretroviral drugs (ARVs) from the international community for the first time on Friday that will allow costs to be dramatically reduced.

The consignment of ARVs, which will enable 150 people including 25 children to be treated for a year, were handed over to Health Minister Amara Cisse by the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) representative in Guinea, Marcel Rudasingwa.

Cisse told reporters that the government had already reduced the cost of ARV treatment from 900,000 Guinean francs (US$ 324) to 650,000 Guinea francs (US$ 234).

“With these new drugs we will further reduce costs to 35,000 Guinea Francs (US $ 13), with the eventual aim of making them free of charge,” he said.

The latest figures from the ministry of health say as many as 170,000 people are living with HIV/AIDS in this West African country, and that the problem is spreading.

Rudasingwa, who was acting on behalf of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, said this first donation was intended to help patients described by doctors and technicians as being most in need.

"It's not as soon as a person is confirmed as being HIV-positive that he is going to start a course of treatment; the doctors and technicians will determine that", he emphasised.

In a speech to the nation on World Aids Day on 1 December, Guinea's health minister had warned that if immediate steps were not taken, the disease would ravage some four percent of the country's workforce by 2015.

Alima Camera, second in command at SIDAPEG, an organisation for people living with the virus, said: “I have been living with AIDS for two years now and today we see the prospects of buying the drugs at a negligible price."


Recent GUINEA Reports
Government study shows HIV infections rising ,  24/Mar/05
First ARVs arrive, but no-one trained to prescribe them,  18/Jan/05
Brazil to sponsor first ARV treatment programme,  3/Dec/04
Government launches first big push against AIDS,  27/Jul/04
Refugee influx adds fuel to AIDS crisis in southeast Guinea,  26/Jul/04
AIDS Media Center
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