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Zimbabwe HIV/AIDS Patients Struggle Despite Lifting Of NGO Aid Ban

Zimbabwean non-governmental organizations attempting to provide HIV/AIDS-related aid to people living with the disease say many of their would-be clients continue to suffer though the government nominally lifted a ban on such services weeks ago.

The government imposed a ban on all NGO provision of aid in early June, but backtracked in stages on providing services to those afflicted with HIV/AIDS. NGOs say the government's official communications on the lifting the ban did not arrive in a timely way, however.

The National Association of Non-Governmental Organizations says the ban endangered the lives of people living with HIV/AIDS as their lifeline to groups providing antiretroviral drugs and other forms of care was severed. The Mutare-based Family Caring Trust says it has now received formal notice from the provincial administration that it can resume its work.

The group’s executive director, Jephias Mundondo, told reporter Carole Gombakomba of VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe that there is a lot of catching up to do to save lives – but for some HIV/AIDS patients it may already be too late to reverse the fatal trend.

More reports from VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe...