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Zimbabwe Trying to Catch Up on HIV-AIDS Treatment Goals

Zimbabwe is one of many countries that did not meet objectives set by the World Health Organization for providing antiretroviral drugs to a large portion of its people living with HIV or AIDS. The targets were set under the WHO’s so-called Three by Five Initiative to provide ARVs to 3 million people in poorer countries by the end of 2005.

The target set by the WHO for Zimbabwe’s was 145,000 or about half of the 295,000 people believed to require antiretroviral therapy as of December 2004. Harare’s own national treatment target was 55,000 people, but at the end of 2005 the government acknowledged that only 20,000 people in Zimbabwe were receiving such drugs.

The government pledged to increase that figure to 90,000 by March 2006.

Reporter Ndimyake Mwakalyele of VOA’s Studio 7 for Zimbabwe spoke with two HIV-AIDS experts about why Zimbabwe fell short of its Three by Five target - and what is happening in government and elsewere to continue toward those goals.

Tapiwanashe Kujinga is coordinator of access to HIV treatment with the Family AIDS Caring Trust in the eastern city of Mutare, and Dr. Tapiwanashe Gwakura is a specialist physician with the Ministry of Health and Child Welfare.

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