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Tuesday 15 November 2005
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AFRICA: MSF slams slow implementation of '3 by 5'

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

JOHANNESBURG, 28 January (PLUSNEWS) - Treatment activists have slammed the World Health Organisation's (WHO) progress report on the '3 by 5' initiative for its "self-satisfied and congratulatory tone".

"Instead of congratulating itself, the WHO should be ringing alarms and urging governments, the pharmaceutical industry and international organisations to radically change their approach, so that there is an urgent increase in the number of patients on ARVs [antiretrovirals] and new treatments are available to all patients," international NGO Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) said in a statement this week.

Under the WHO initiative, the number of people currently receiving anti-AIDS drugs in developing countries has jumped to 700,000, from 440,000 six months ago.

But the pace was still too slow, as only 260,000 additional patients had benefited from ARV therapy since July 2004. "At this pace, how long will the 6 million patients about to die have to wait to get treatment?" the statement said.



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