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SOUTH AFRICA: High AIDS treatment hurdles for refugees


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


JOHANNESBURG, 14 February (PLUSNEWS) - South Africa's substantial population of refugees and illegal immigrants are being sidelined by HIV/AIDS treatment programmes as the country struggles to provide drugs to its own citizens.

Inter Press Service quoted a UN High Commissioner for Refugees researcher, Melita Sunjie, as saying: "Refugees are regarded with suspicion ... and barely integrated into society, let alone HIV and AIDS initiatives."

Those who are at the stage where they should begin taking antiretrovirals often do not have access to the life-prolonging drugs, compounding the hardships of migrant life with illness.

An estimated 100,000 people in South Africa have refugee status, but the Human Rights Commission believes the number of illegal immigrants runs into millions.

[ENDS]

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Links
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Le Fonds mondial de lutte contre le SIDA, la tuberculose et le paludisme
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The Global Fund to fight AIDS, Tuberculosis & Malaria

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